I live near and train on a beautiful green-way. I recognize a lot of people who walk/run/or cycle at the same time of morning that I’m out there. But often I see people I don’t know. And from time to time someone will really inspire me. I saw such a person today.
Today it’s very San Diego-like here in Nashville. The temperature is mild and there is low or no humidity. This is unheard of in Nashville in July. I’d been watching the weather forecast all week and I knew this morning was to be a great one for a long run. I’m enjoying a vacation day and while I usually run long on Saturdays, there was no way I was going to pass up this opportunity to run in unseasonably mild weather. So tomorrow’s eight-miler was moved up a day.
I had gone 6.5 miles and was starting to tire a little bit. There were a lot of very young, very fast runners out and about. They appeared to be doing training runs for a school sport. One young man stood out from the rest. His form was good but no better than the others and he wasn’t any faster (although he was fast). What made him stand out was that his arms and hands had an unmistakable “drawn in” appearance that suggested some type of physical challenge. He ran alone and I don’t know whether or not he knew any of the other kids who were running in pairs.
There was something about this guy that really motivated me. He was just out there doing his thing without calling attention to himself and whatever challenge he lives with. As I watched him run farther and farther from me (again, he was fast) I wondered what he has overcome so far in his young life. Do kids ever make fun of him? Is it difficult for him to write or use a computer? Does he have the nerve to ask his crush out on a date? Will she say “yes?”
I may never see this guy again, but I’ll remember him. Just like I remember a young man with Down’s syndrome I saw bust a move on the elliptical trainer. Or the lady I see on the trail who must use a walker, but gets out there anyway. These people teach me that I have no business putting limits on myself when they won’t put limits on themselves. They teach me that anything is possible.
I’m grateful for these teachers.