Why I Give Out High Fives On My Runs

Whenever I go for a run I give myself the same challenge; give out a high five to at least one other runner while I’m out on the road. Over the past three(ish) years I have attempted 306 high fives.

High five count is current to January 2020, just in case you were wondering.

High fives while running

Here is the four step breakdown of what happens every time…..

Step 1 - Assess 

I quickly take a look to see if the runner that I'm going to high five has a free hand to high five me with. Do they have enough time to realize that’s going on? Are they paying attention?

Step 2 - Prompt

I make eye contact, extend my hand to the side, clearly say “High Five!” and (this is key) give my own hand a slap to indicate that the high five is on.

Step 3 - Action

I watch with hope as the other runner looks at me with a bit of confusion, quickly realizes what’s happening, smiles and extends their hand.

Step 4 - Contact

We high five, I yell “w00t!!” or something to that extent, we both carry on with our runs.

But Why?!?

296 people (96.7% yes!) have high fived me back. That’s 296 strangers who I got to share a (albeit sometimes somewhat confused) smile with. 296 quick little moments of positivity that only took a few seconds to create.

I like to think that maybe for a short moment the stranger that high fived me back feels a bit more inspired, or maybe they feel a little bit more connected, or maybe they just have have quick laugh at the weirdo that high fived them and tell someone about it later on.

If anything, my little high five challenge has been a constant reminder that a simple smile or a small act of kindness can make a big difference in someone’s life. It sure has in mine :)

About The Author

Cory likes to run, and likes to help runners find races with his website, www.runguides.com

Published on Apr 06, 2020
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