Tuesday, May 19, 2009I spend a lot of time running on the road. Sometimes I run with friends, and sometimes I run alone. I love the solitude, the "me" time. But, it can get very long and lonely at times. In February, I ran a marathon, which meant a lot of miles of training. Every Saturday morning was my long run. I would run ten or fifteen, sometimes even twenty miles. I know my neighbors must have thought I was crazy, but I was very dedicated to my training schedule. Plenty of times, I got that look from passers by that said, "You must be out of your mind!"
One woman, however, became my biggest cheerleader during those months. I don't know her name, so I refer to her as "the paper lady". While I am out for my morning run, I always see her out delivering the paper. She stopped and asked me once why I run so much, and I told her about my marathon. She told me that I looked great and wished me luck. Ever since then, she honks and waves or gives me a thumbs up. She flashes a genuine smile that instantly gives me a boost and keeps me moving to the end of my run. She probably doesn't realize how much her little acts of kindness mean to me.
So often, when I see someone else's successes, I feel a twinge of jealousy and don't give them the support and encouragement that they need and deserve. It would be easy for "the paper lady" to do the same to me. She could think, "Here comes that running lady (that's probably how she refers to me) again. Who does she think she is?" But instead she is impressed to see me doing something good for myself and lets me know that she supports me. I have thought about this a lot lately, and how I can pay it forward and give others the support that they need to keep putting one foot in front of the other. You never know what a difference the little things you do can make in someone's life.