Last night a dream passed through my night where I was with another under an umbrella in the pouring rain trying to stay dry. The drops were coming down fast and hard so we tried running and seemed to just get more wet. In keeping that little clip of make believe alive in my head this morning I began to ask does one stay drier running in the rain or walking?
It came as a surprise, but this question has received some serious attention from the scientific community here and there. Even the syndicated Straight Dope columnist Cecil Adams and the producers of the television series Mythbusters have conducted their own studies on the debate. The general finding as to whether you’d get wetter if you run or walk in the rain appears to favor walking makes you the wettest. The hypothesis is if you don’t want to get soaked any more than is strictly necessary during a rainstorm, run as fast as you can. So the correct choice was made in my dream to run to end up a little less wet.
Apparently the decision whether to run or walk in the rain has more to do with time than volume of rainfall hitting you. Simply a runner will be out of the rain in less time than the walker, which means a person running should be exposed to less overall moisture. The walker might benefit slightly from not running into the raindrops ahead, but the added time in the rain would make him wetter overall.
Many people believe that rainy days are for staying indoors and waiting for the sun to shine again. Then there are those like me who love the rain, who adore walking in it and even cherish the damp feeling one gets by walking when showers are coming down.
There is something about rainfall that is therapeutic. I’ve shared happiness with drizzle and mingled my sadness with it too. Charlie Chaplin’s famous line “I love walking in the rain because nobody can see me crying” has found me outside getting welcomedly soaked during down times more often than I care to count. If you have not tried walking when it is raining to soothe a painful day, I highly recommend it. Once you step outside there can be a feeling that nature understands your sadness. Being in the rain has a way of cleansing the body and heart, washing away tears and providing hope.
A quote from Vivian Green goes “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” I can personally attest it’s absolutely true.
The rain is not just for when I feel sad. Being soaked brings out my happy child within because I am doing something “sensible adults” rarely do; getting wet simply for the fun of it. I also find rain and fog terribly romantic and inspirational. Few others are out if I go walking in rainy weather and I have the wet beautiful world more to myself. It’s an almost mystical feeling that is ancient and solid down to the spirit of my being.
If you avoid the rain and always try to stay dry you’re missing out! I am grateful to have enjoyed it so dearly my entire life. Hearing rainfall is truly one of the most loved things I know in nature. And yes, I even dream about being in the rain like last night. It was just a little touch that enlivened my dream all the more.
And when it rains on your parade,
look up rather than down.
Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.
Gilbert K. Chesterton