Once again, I’ve run afoul of the law. Literally.
It happens three times or so each year. I’m out for a happy barefoot run, when, all of a sudden, a police car swoops to the side of the road beside me, lights flashing. A window is rolled down, and I hear the ominous words…
“Excuse me, sir.”
This morning (the first nice day we’ve had in a long time, I might add), I was enjoying a short, easy-paced barefoot run around my local ring road. About 2K from home, not one, but two, cop cars came to a rather sudden stop beside me. Flashing lights, cruisers angled against the curb so they were actually blocking traffic, and very quickly a cop standing on either side of me while I was questioned.
Yes, you’ve got the picture. A white-haired gent in running clothes (but no shoes!), and two young, well-muscled cops, complete with guns and flak jackets. Said older gent being questioned about why he’s running without shoes, where he lives, if he’s ever been injured. etc. Evidently, a “concerned citizen” had phoned in a report that he/she had seen “a man running without shoes,” and the cops had to come by to ensure the public’s safety.
One of the cops even called in an ID on his onboard laptop, I guess to make sure I wasn’t some sort of known criminal. While he did so, the other cop stood just off to my side, hand resting casually on his holstered gun. Maybe he was afraid I’d make a break for the nearest traffic light, or go berserk in the way that barefoot runners are known to. I’ll call the image to mind again – a 64 year-old, 144 lb. runner, barefoot, clad in tights, a long-sleeve running shirt, and a bandanna, in between two thirty-something, 180-or-so lb. cops in street armour, with weapons at the ready. Right, I’m so dangerous.
Other runners get waved at or chased by dogs – I get hassled by interfering busybodies and the state’s paramilitaries. This happens all too often – and I’m hugely, hugely pissed off by it. Just sayin’, that’s all.