What’s the saying “you won’t find me running unless something’s chasing me”? Well, one day I was taking the path of one of my longer walks. It’s really quite enjoyable- it has ups and downs, a small neighborhood and a busy road, trees offering shade and scorching sunshine. On this day I found myself thinking, “I wonder what it might be like to run a little?”. No commitment- isn’t running just like…faster walking? I don’t think you need anything fancy- I had my sneakers and music- which to me is all you need to run.
Now I’m not ready to call myself ‘a runner’, I’m not into labels, but that day when I was running I guess I was a runner. Since that day I have run/walked this 3 mile journey with great eagerness and each time with more running than walking.
On the 4th or 5th time I was taking this journey, I was shuffling back (can you picture it?) and saw this pleasant looking woman, probably 20 years my senior, doing her walk across the street from me. Conscious about my beet red face, dripping sweat, and shuffling I glanced nicely at her and heard her yell, “Good for you!” displaying two thumbs up to me. As I yelled back, “Thanks! You too!” I was filled with a newfound motivation to keep going. I picked up my posture, lengthened my stride, and even smiled a little after she passed. I’ve been thinking about this experience, both personally and professionally…
What motivates you to try something new and challenging?
What or who is there to keep you going…giving you your second wind?
For me it was this nice, older woman. A stranger. Maybe she saw some of her younger self in me? Maybe I reminded her of her daughter? Or maybe she just felt sorry for my sweaty, shuffling self and knew this thing called ‘running’ was a challenge for me? No matter why, this small gesture of encouragement was enough to pick me up and keep me going for the last mile. I had needed a cheerleader and she came along at just the right moment- at the precise time that I was thinking, “What am I doing? I’m not a runner! This is torture!”.
During another running journey I was surprised to see a tiny, furry caterpillar working it’s way across the busy road. I was compelled to stop and be that cheerleader for this little creature. Remarkably, it made it across safely, somehow knowing to travel across the road rather than along the road where it would have surely been squashed by the oncoming truck. I wondered what was so compelling on the other side that it felt the need to cross the road? Maybe because I was there, cheering it on, saying…
“Good for you!”