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I stretch after I jog. Both actions are dorky. Yet, they’ve become my moments of peace. So shut up.

I stretch outside on the sidewalk. I’m a corner house.

Cars stop to see if I’m all right.

Very nice of them.

Some have a bit of an attitude. Irritated. Voice inflection tells me they feel slighted once they’ve confirmed my ability to survive and live without their assistance.

“Because you didn’t look okay, bro!”

Sorry? I didn’t mean to make you stop at the stop sign you were rolling through. (Which is something I also often do, and love doing, but wouldn’t hold resentment of, or contempt for, a cyclist crossing my automobile path as many others do. Check the crossroad and the sidewalks if you’re going to do some rolling.)

I finish my stretch, thinking, meditating, justifying my own actions and those who pass by.

Thinking: Bro, just because you’re used to seeing ragdoll falls in videogames and movies doesn’t mean a body is automatically contorted when it lands. My post-run stretch is nowhere near natural, but I’m a real person willing those maneuvers. (I mean, bro, I had to train my body to turn like that.)

But let’s, overall, appreciate people’s concerns. Person, after person, after person asking if I’m okay after every friggin’ run!

It’s a sign that there is good in us all. Even those meanies who would prefer you dying to stretching (either before or after they’ve learned of your awkward body mobility).

They don’t want to admit it to themselves, but they did stop to check on you (street sign or no).

So thank you.

And leave me the hell alone.

Dan Jones

Author Dan Jones

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