Sunday, October 30, 2011

When walking: Look both ways!

When out walking, strolling or running make eye contact before crossing a street. This is my message for the day. Do not cross the street before making eye contact with the drivers!!

As a walker you have the right away. As a human being you are at a distinct disadvantage in weight and protection. You may be right, but if a car hits you, you will not win this fight.

Drivers are focused on the road, sometimes they are not even doing that. As I walk-jog-woggle... I have seen so many drivers texting, chatting on cell phones or just rushing and not even seeing me or other pedestrians.

I love the cross walks, stop signs and traffic lights but I do not trust drivers, until we make eye contact. Over the past 20 years, I have learned to trust my instincts and wait for the all clear!

Saturday my girlfriend and I walked around Federal Way for 5.5 hours. The day was absolutely gorgeous. Autumn colors spectacular and we were incredibly lucky with sunny skies- thank heavens!! During this beautiful walk we also had multiple close calls with traffic.

When we walk around town, we cross streets- lots of streets. During our walk we passed walkers, joggers, families, dogs, cars, bikes, motorcycles etc. It's easy to get lulled into a false sense of safety. Never loose respect for traffic when crossing the street. In one day, there were at least three times we would have been in trouble if we had walked before checking the drivers!!!

Incidentally, I was also reminded to pick up my feet as I walk. On our Saturday travel, I tripped on a slight sidewalk bump. I ducked and rolled. My knee is free of skin, my ego slightly bruised and my body feels kind of irksome but all in all I was very lucky! Thankfully, I had band aids in my fanny pack. After checking for broken bones and blood we stuck some band aides on my knee and walked another 6 miles. (My tuck and roll must have been an act of God, I'm not known for my smooth tumbling skills: )

Trust me, in car or sidewalk accidents, it only takes a second for a hard knock. Pay attention to what you are doing and do not cross a cross walk or street before carefully checking traffic. When in doubt wait until all is clear.

In case you are wonder why in the world I was walking for 5.5 hours, I have a great reason. My girlfriend and cancer survivor is training to walk the San Diego 60 mile 3 day walk for a cure. She is incredible and I walk with her to help her train and support her mission. She would probably walk with or without me but walking and training with a partner is so much more fun. I support her completely and want to make sure our training is safe and healthy.

Wishing you a happy and safe journey

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