Ask Hank: The wittiest person on the trail


I like to think of myself as pretty self-confident. But I realized today that when I run on a busy trail I feel the need to make a quippy remark to every single person I pass. I comment on this person wearing pants on a hot day, or that guy having a different colored helmet than everyone else in his group. I say something hilarious (but not really hilarious) about cement for a tire patch as we pass a guy repairing a flat. I also tell people things like, “Big uphill ahead,” or, “All down here from here on, enjoy the ease.”

Why? Why must I make contact with everyone I see? It feels like I’m desperate for everyone on the trail to like me. I want people to finish their run or ride and think, “Man that guy was really great, I’m glad he was on the trail today.” Instead of, “Great run. Beautiful up there today.” And… That’s ridiculous.


Dear People Pleaser in Iowa,

I think you’re approaching this wrong. Instead of worrying about why you’re this way, let’s consider how you could be the absolute best at this. There are a few options as I see it.

1) You could spend your spare time becoming a one line comedian and yell something quippy at each person you pass. Phrases such as, “What’s the deal with dusty trails? Am I right?”

Well, you’d probably need to do better than Seinfeld in this situation, but it’s a good starting point.

2) You could become your quippy remark. What if, instead of saying something brilliant, you wore a massive banana costume, or a horses head on top of your head while you ran? Sure, it would get hot, but you would instantly be the most popular person on the trail.

I know I would be cheered up if, while running uphill, someone in a Big Bird costume suddenly flew by me.

Don’t think, just banana.

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