Pave Your Lane

Running through America to empower people to find and follow their passions

Reading waves in MISSOURI!!!! August 4 - Day 129, 19.2 miles, Unionville, MO

Yep, that's right! I am in Missouri! State #11, baby! The crossing from Iowa into MO was hilarious. We were greeted by an old run-down "Krazy Franks" Fireworks shack and a rotting eye-sore of a white house with turkey vultures living in a hole on the roof. The state line was actually a visible LINE on the road where you could see the nice, reddish Iowa pavement blatantly end and the crummy, black and gray, stoney, uneven Missouri road begin. Big fat difference. Oh boy...what does Missouri have in store for me?!? Yikes. BUT, alas, Missouri is beautiful, and after all, it is the "show me state!" What in the world does that mean anyway?

Vultures on roof:

The true state line...haha (red road is Iowa, black road is Missouri):

Back to Missouri. Speaking of the "show me" concept, for the rest of the day, Missouri drivers told what was on their minds via a wide assortment of waves or hand gestures that they "showed me" as they passed. Granted, I was just some chick wearing a neon green mesh tank, running in 90+ degree weather down the state highways of Missouri (what I am trying to say is that I really did think that people thought I was nuts/looney/insane). I therefore spent the rest of the day analyzing what these waves meant and what the people where actually saying to me with their hands. Ready for this? Here we go...

Wave #1 - "The One-Finger Lazy Lift" - that is, when the person lifts up just one finger from the steering wheel. This means, to me, "I see you, you are safe, I don't care too much what in the world you are doing on the side of the road, but I won't hit you, I promise." I think this is the lazy wave.

Wave #2 - "The Two-Finger Lift" - when the driver lifts up, not one, but two (gasp!!!) fingers from the steering wheel, like a peace sign. This says, " how's it goin', little lady! I see you and I am saying hi! It's a beautiful day. I won't run you over because I like saying hi to you too much! Onward!" This is the I-am-not-as-lazy-as-option #1 wave.

Wave #3 - "The Little Youngin'" - an energetic, full-hand lift of the hand OFF the wheel to actually give a short, typical wave. This means, "oh, you remind me of my granddaughter! Hello!!!!!" (ehem, ehem, analysis courtesy of Greg Blencoe! HA.)

Wave #4 - "The HOW" - think of a stereotypical, still and stoic full-hand still wave that a Native American would give (do they actually still do that?). This gesture normally comes from what could quite possibly be a menopausal mother. This wave speaks, loud and clear, "oh my gosh, oh my gosh, I am going to hit this poor young homeless girl, but maybe, if I put up my hand boldly she will know that I see her and then it will be ok. I would never let my kids go out and walk on the side of the road!!!! Maybe I should stop and ask if she is ok? Oh, blasphemy!"

Wave #5 - "The Potbelly Jiggle" - MY FAVORITE! This is just too classic. This wave ONLY comes from a big-bellied, gray-haired or bald middle-aged man, normally a road worker, farmer on a tractor, or dude wearing coveralls. The man waves profusely side to side, as if he was shaking his hand OFF his wrist, paints his face with a big goofy grin, and looks at me with huge, focused eyes. This says, "hey there, precious! Haven't seen one of your kind for a while! Hi hi hi hi hi hi hi hi hi hi hi!!!!!! Whatcha doin'?! Hi hi hi hi hi!!!!"

Wave #6 - "The Look" - This ties with my favorite! Actually, might be my favorite because I like old people so much:-) So, this is when an old person (we are talkin' 80+ years, normally a man) drives by, and doesn't wave at all. Instead, he slowly turns his head and focuses his eyes on me, not being able to quite make out if I am a girl or animal walking on the side of the road. The blank-stare this old person gives me is due, I assume, to the person's delayed reaction and slow neuron synopses in the process of trying to figure out what in the world is going on out there on the side of the road. And I can't forget, this blank stare is paired with an unbelievably endearing opening of the mouth and VERY SLOW jaw drop. So cute.

Thanks, Missouri folks, for "showin' me" your state. Hahahahahaha!!!! Gotta love it.

Rock on!

Under the famous (???) Missouri welcome sign

P.S. One of my role models (and also former assistant CC and Track coach in college), Cassie Funke (a.k.a. "Funkmaster") drove from Kansas to run with me today! So great. Give her some credit, wow!

Funke and Visco:

Views: 610

Comment by Katie Visco on August 10, 2009 at 11:41pm
gee, thanks, Greg, for the info. You are my new appointed research consultant. haha!!!!! Don't you just love Missouri!??!?! Maybe if you came to run with me again you'll see the Potbelly Jiggle...ehem ehem!!!! toodles!
Comment by David DeLuna on August 11, 2009 at 1:48am
Long time reader, first time writer. Thanks so much for keeping us all up to date on your journey. I'm with you every mile! Well, that's what I tell myself when I walk past the treadmill.

I have a slightly different take on the waves. First, I'm only talking of the hand(s) still on the steering wheel wave. But I'd like to suggest some slight variations on the meaning behind the #1 and #2. Well, I honestly can't comment on the #2 - but I'll provide the first of a suggested alternate interpretations. Let's say 2a was all four fingers (thumb would be hidden behind the wheel). This would be a: "I see you, I won't run over you, I'll even treat you as someone from my state. You are welcome any time. But, for the real welcoming - that's the #1. One finger is MUCH harder to execute. I have to concentrate to keep the other fingers on the wheel. I reserve this wave for my neighbors. My best friends. Well, at least those from my county. Katie, if you got the index one finger wave, this means they love you!

On, and no wave at all, fingers whitening as they wrap tighter around the steering wheel would be a: "she's not from around here - probably Iowa or worse, Illinois"
Comment by Katie Visco on August 11, 2009 at 6:32am
oh boy, David!!!! I hope I get more one finger lifts! goodie! haha, what about THIS blog got you to write? Are you passionate about reading waves?! Been pondering their meanings for years?! haha
Comment by Ramona Moore on August 11, 2009 at 9:37pm
Hi Katie, I so enjoyed meeting you and your mom in Jamesport, MO on Sunday! I couldn't believe you all had even heard of our Harris Family Reunion that was held on that day at the park! I told my marathon coworkers about your run and gave them your website, too. I want you to contact me when you're on your way back home and going through the KC,MO area. I'd love to have you come and visit with our middle schoolers in Blue Springs! You're a vivacious and inspiring young woman. You keep going and doing what you're doing. Your generation is unique but needs people with a heart of passion for positive changes for our futures. Loved meeting both you and your mom and just sitting and chatting. I'll keep up with you through this site, too! Take care. :)
Comment by Anne Smith on August 11, 2009 at 9:47pm
Hi Katie.....I just sent an email, but I wanted to let you know that you and your crew are welcome to stay with us when you get near Phoenix. Say "Hi" to John, Kathy and the rest of the family. You are an inspiration!
Comment by David DeLuna on August 12, 2009 at 1:51am
Well, to answer your question Katie, I have been watching the finger waves for some time now. As your dad will tell you, when you get up near our age, you feel the need to (try and) act "cool." A wise Montana ranch hand pulled my family and I aside for a "here's how to be cool" finger wave lesson on the way to a Dude Ranch many years ago. I felt compelled to share the lesson. Maybe your brother could confirm or deny based on his experience there.

Also, I did hit the treadmill for awhile today and have to say, after about 10 minutes I decided you are absolutely insane. Vivacious, as someone said. Inspiring, yes. But insane. I'll keep following you though.
Comment by Meagan Kelleher on August 12, 2009 at 11:17am
Katie: Here is the link to the interview with us at FOX 4 this morning! Thanks for coming in, and good luck with the rest of your run!


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