5Run Vancouver #5Run

Sunday I woke up extremely hung-over. I have a strange relationship with such a state: I always feel that I need to have a productive day following a pizza infused late night endeavor. Sunday, I decided to get going and shake the char with a long run.

Jogging at one pace has to be up there with the most boring things I’ve ever done. Does anyone actually enjoy it if it’s not sunny and no music? I would love to know what is going through the minds of marathon runners.

It didn’t take long for boredom to set in Sunday as I made my way to the beach. I noticed everyone I ran by was frowning or looked angry. I couldn’t figure it out. It was gorgeous out and they were running along Spanish banks. What’s the deal? I made it my mission to turn a few frowns into smiles; maybe inflict a little joy into the Sunday run. I started to smile at every jogger I ran past… A few smiled back, some avoided eye contact, most looked at be dumbfounded with that sympathy gaze as though they were humoring someone’s awkward joke.

What the hell is going on here? No one was smiling. It’s pretty obvious that the majority do not run out of pure enjoyment, if they do, they certainly don’t show it.

A bit discouraged I thought how I could make running better not only for myself but for those around me. We should be enjoying ourselves, not grinding it out on the pavement. Then, it dawned on me. HIGH FIVES + SMILES = AWESOME!

I extended my hand in your typical high five fashion to every oncoming runner for the next hour. The response I got was amazing. No looks of disapproval or disappointment. Everyone’s face lit up with excitement; they were genuinely excited to high five some random guy sweating out liquor who just happens to have great hair. If that is not awesome then I don’t know what is. I felt exhilarated!  I wanted to keep running all day and high five people. The reaction is priceless.

The rest of my run flew by. I couldn’t stop smiling. The wave of high fives got me through my run. It was the best run of my life.

I probably high-fived 30 strangers. A few turned me down, others were confused, that’s fine.  Injecting the tiniest ounce of happiness into a stranger’s day is so fulfilling. Happiness is contagious!

Running doesn’t have to be a chore.

I need your help! I challenge you to high five every stranger you run by. They need it. It’s a euphoric feeling. Each person has a story. We all have ups and downs, stresses and worries: it’s called life.  A simple High five and a bright smile as you pass a fellow runner go a long way. Let’s help each other. Running doesn’t have to be painful. It should be awesome. As Kanye says: “the best things in life are free.”

5Run is the name of this crazy idea. I will be handing out run5s on my 5runs like it’s my job. I would love if you could help me by doing the same. My hope is to bring a fun culture to running, to brighten lives and to bring smiles. Not only in Vancouver but everywhere.

Those on twitter can share there experiences using #5Run.

What are your thoughts on bringing some fun to running? Will people be reluctant to embrace this sort of thing?