I was going into work a few nights ago. I have to cross an air bridge from the parking garage to the hospital, and parts of it are frigid. Seriously, the air blasting out of the vents is like Jack Frost breathing on you. (Remember, that Santa Clause movie where Jack Frost freezes everyone with his breath?) So I walk fast, partly because I’m freezing my tushy off but also because I just naturally walk kind of fast.
Anywho, I came upon another nurse going to work. He made the remark, “I’m going to get out of your way. I saw you get out of that car with 26.2 on it!”
I just laughed, and said, “That doesn’t mean I can run fast!”
But that brief exchange has stuck with me and has made me think a lot about why I put a 26.2 sticker on my car. Is it making other people feel I’m superior to them? Does it seem like I’m bragging? Am I sending a message that I belong to some exclusive club?
That certainly was not my intention, but I began to feel rather self-conscious about the sticker on my car.
But it got me thinking about why marathoners put stickers on their cars, and I have to say I think it’s the same reason people put any kind of sticker on their cars. I’ve seen cars pulling into the garage ahead of me with some “RN” or nursing related themed bumper sticker. I see the stickers of families, where there’s a sticker for Mom, Dad, big brother, little sister, and the dog. I see political stickers from both Republican and Democratic supporters. I see stickers about Jesus, guns, a child who made the honor roll, and some with no real cause except to make you chuckle.
But the one thing all those stickers have in common is that they represent what’s important to those who drive the car. They let us know who you are. I think bumper stickers are a way of connecting with our fellow humans. They tell stories of accomplishments and hint at beliefs and passions.
So I’m not going to feel bad about a 26.2 sticker on my car. Running is an important part of my life, and running a marathon is a big achievement, something I’m proud of, and something that changed me. It’s a part of who I am now, and that’s what my 26.2 sticker means to me.
Besides I don’t think that thing would come off if I wanted it to!
Talk to me:
What bumper stickers are on your car?
What’s the best bumper sticker you’ve ever seen?