Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Positive Exchange makes a come-back

[This post was submitted by Davethenakedrunner.  I was going to let him post it, but as we are all out enjoying the weather this weekend, the blog was feeling lonely, so I posted it on his behalf.  Hope he doesn't mind.  Now I am off to RUN SMILEY and check the Sun isn't just a good special effect for a movie.  This is Vancouver after all - Kate Kift, a.k.a kittyk]

I refer to the mutual acknowledgement of one runner by another as a 'positive exchange'. This can range from a nod or SMILE, to a holler, high-five, hug or fully blown discussion.

Recently I decided to make an effort to instigate more of these positive exchanges while runnning, with the aim of improving enjoyment and strengthening the social connection with other runners. 

This led me to write a blog article which you can read here

My advice for putting this into practice is to aim for at least 5 positive exchanges, where possible, on every run. 

I like to think that if every runner used this strategy the world would be a friendlier and better place. 

And the best thing? 

Offering a greeting or a SMILE is contagious. So start today and pretty soon everyone will be doing it!


  1. Love this idea! I've been doing it a lot more lately - sometimes I even try to greet walkers ;)

  2. I say hi to everyone we come across :)

  3. I agree with the lamentation about mp3 players. I get that music adds motivation, and on terrible days I'll even pop in the ear-buds myself (though very, very rarely). But it seems most runners use them most of the time, and I can't count how many times I've passed or been passed by someone and there was some little exchange I tried to initiate -- "nice form," "oh, I love [race on their shirt]," "how are those shoes?" "beautiful day, isn't it?" -- but it fell on deaf ears and a pair of earbuds.

  4. Thanks for posting Kate.

    The whole social dynamics of runners, walkers and members of the public fascinates me.

    A two-way positive exchange won't always happen but if we are on the look-out for it we will be rewarded with some form of social connection more often than not.

    Personally, this gives me a buzz so I try and bag as many as I can.

    Interestingly I often take my dog on a run, and find the chances then, of getting a smile, or greeting are greatly enhanced, especially from fellow dog walkers/owners.

    I guess people are drawn to similarities. So when then don't more runners connect when they pass each other? We'e all out engaging in a similar from of physical activity.