I was running along a rather empty and dark stretch of road, entranced by the rhythm of my feet striking the ground, scuffling small pebbles with each footfall. Suddenly another noise intruded on my reveries. Footsteps! I glanced around quickly and caught a fleeting glimpse of a reflective leg taking a long stride. Another runner!
Granted, it wasn’t even 10 p.m., but in my town it’s rare to see other runners at 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning, so you can imagine my shock. The runner stayed on the other side of the road, keeping my pace. I let the runner go in front of me so I could get a better look, but it was too dark to discern any details; I couldn’t even tell if it was a man or a woman.
But this unknown runner and I stuck together for that whole stretch of road, never acknowledging each other with anything more than the sound of each others’ footsteps. We didn’t race, like I tend to do when I meet another runner heading in the same direction; there was no spirit of competitiveness. It was simply pleasant.
The rest of my run I spent listening to my own footsteps and thinking about that other runner whose name I will never know.