I’ve been really surprised at how nice people are to me when I run. Maybe it’s just because I have such a tragic, painful, “I-want-to-die” expression on my face that they can’t help but feel sorry and offer encouragement.
Often it’s as I slog to the top of a hill that a stranger on bike will yell “Way to go!”, or someone walking a dog will clap or give a thumbs up. It always takes me off-guard. It honestly gives me a tiny kick of extra energy. Like “Oh! Maybe I really can keep going.”
But this morning was different. As I ran past a woman who looked a little familiar, she clearly recognized me and knew my story. She knew my half-marathon goal that’s way too big for me. She gave me a huge smile and a big thumbs up and yelled “You can do it, Laura!”
I was grateful and encouraged, but I was also moved to tears.
Because it hit me like Roadrunner
(not the fast part, the stopping part).
I thought of all the kids whose names I know who are running abominably hard races in Africa, and the many people I know closer to home who are weary and probably want to give up right now. And I wondered, “Is anyone cheering them on today? Who’s giving them a thumbs up and telling them they can keep going no matter how hard it is?”
When I got home I made a list and started writing notes. I want these folks to know that someone “sees” them. Someone knows their story. Someone is praying for them. Someone is cheering them on.
Because a woman on the street knew my story and paused to cheer me on.
Do you know someone hitting the wall who needs a thumbs up today?