How many of you have been walking down the road when a complete stranger who happens to have the same pace as you, finds him/herself walking alongside you? Do you find it an awkward situation?
Recently while I was walking from my local train station to my home, a stranger turned around the corner and walked alongside me down the street. His initial thought must have been to speed up to give me some distance, which I happened to be thinking also so we sped up together. This was uncomfortable so I began to slow down… he did also. Now being so in-tune with one another’s uncomfortableness ought to have made this less awkward, but alas it didn’t. Neither of us would give each other eye contact and both of us resorted to speeding up to distance ourselves from one another. The result was a race up this fairly steep hill.
One foot lifted with knee slightly bent, body leaning forward to assist with gravity, I placed one foot in front of the other with speed. The chap was doing the same which did make me wonder, what’s the best way to walk quick? Is it to walk with large strides, or small but quick ones? Now was not the time to test this theory as I would look like a plonker, so I kept to the small stride, speedy one foot in front of the other walk. So did the chap and unfortunately we both were as quick as each other. At this point though if either of us were to slow down it would feel like defeat so neither of us gave up. This had become an actual race for superiority and with no knowing when the race was going to end neither of us was slowing down.
With a badly parked car half on the curb, half on the street, we both knew that this race had found its finish line. One would have to slow down to let the other through. I had been on this main road the entire time so I felt that I have right of way, but then again we never set any rules and the chap isn’t showing signs of slowing so do I try to speed up even more or just let him go ahead? No, I shall not be beaten, I hate losing, and he should be polite and let me through. It’s a matter of principal. I have the upper hand as I can continue to walk without cutting him up, whereas he has to decide whether to be daring and cut in-front of me which would just be plain rude. To win this race I was going to have to test the long stride walk theory as even two strides would put me in-front of this chap and prevent any under cutting.
I put my leg out clear in front and then the other one swayed naturally forward. The benefit of being a woman is my hips naturally sway, men you really fail here! I pushed out in front and won the lead, and just after the car I took my turn onto a petrol station and slowed down. Regardless of whether I’m overtaken now I have won. Plus I really would prefer the man to overtake me now so he doesn’t see where I live. Well you never know, he may want a rematch.