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Runners: when you’re running, does it matter which path you take? Left or right?

Runners: when you’re running, does it matter which path you take? Left or right?

Does it matter what shoes you’re wearing? How about the right socks? Which day of the week? Shoe laces?

Do you run on odd numbered days? Or maybe only during months that have 30 days? Do you need to think about your running? How about talk about it with friends? Maybe you should bring it up at the next board meeting for your kids’ school?

But seriously, if you can’t decide which way to go out of your front door, should you just turn around and go back to bed? It was so cozy and warm in there and it’s cold and miserable and early out here on the street. You just don’t know which way to go–what if you get it wrong? What if you run and slip and scrape your knee? The whole Band-Aid thing, scabs you’re not supposed to scratch and waiting for the icky scab to fall off so that you can examine it and contemplate a new career in medicine.

You should probably just go back to bed.

I think you could have better socks, frankly. There are new socks now that have padding in certain spots so that, well, I’m sure they help in some way. I wouldn’t run without them. No way, what a waste of good asphalt on the wrong socks. Just got back to bed and order some new socks from the comfort of under your comforter.

Left or right? What’s it going to be?

Runners: when you're running, does it matter which path you take? Left or right?

Runners: when you’re running, does it matter which path you take? Left or right?

I suppose it depends on why you’re running in the first place. If it’s to impress the neighbors, then you should probably go left and then turn around and run right to make sure they all see you. If it’s to lose weight then you might be able to calculate that you’ve already lost enough weight and, according to a certain chart you found, your weight is probably just right as it is. Then it doesn’t matter if it’s left or right, you can just about face and go back to bed. Right now!

If you’re running for yourself and you do it because it feels good (or at least eventually makes you feel good … ) then the direction to go is clear. Because when you’re running for running’s sake and your reasons are you own and no one else’s, then you know exactly which way to go out the door. You also know the secret of which way to go and you can’t even explain it to someone who’s asking you which way to go because you both know and you don’t know.

The answer of whether to go left and right is simply not the question. The question is whether you’re going to go at all and the funniest, most joyous part of that question is that you don’t even ask whether or not you’re going to run at all because you’re already out the door and you don’t even recall which way you went because it doesn’t matter which way you’re going but just that you’re doing it and you’re doing it because, well, that’s simple: because you’re a runner.

P.S. You can replace “runner” with whatever you are: a writer, a musician, a tax attorney, etc.

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