Today I was an island.
Alone in a sea of people.
I went to a workout this morning with a group of amazing people.
In a sea of about 50 people who set out to run the same workout as me, 5 threw me a life raft — learned my name. Talked about badass running tights with me. Gave me a hug. A high-five. Stayed with me through my workout.
Five. Amid a sea of 50.
I am an outgoing person. I am not shy in the least.
But having just moved back after being away for a long time, today I was a stranger on her home turf.
I was brought to tears at one point because there were 50 people all trying to do the same thing, but everyone was so focused on just completing their own workout that I felt like I should have just showed up on a morning when no one was around and tried to conquer the same task.
And that stung.
One person knows how tough I am — that I don’t quit. I don’t shy away from things that are hard. Heck, I just ran the Boston Marathon in the most terrible weather I could imagine and managed a personal best.
But today, I was struggling.
Mostly because I felt like just another body.
Anyone who tackles a SINGLE section at Harvard Stadium — or a single stair for that matter — should be applauded. It never gets easier — you just get stronger. But your legs still feel like jello EACH time you do it — even if you’ve done 100 or 200 or even 300 sections in a row.
Today? Today 40 was a struggle. But no one saw it. No one wanted to see it except for 5 people.
Those 5 people? They are why I keep coming back to this sport called running.
Because I can drop a 6:42 min/mile or I can run an 11 min/mile marathon and what actually makes me stick with it is helping someone else who thinks they can’t just believe in themselves as much as *I* believe in them.
Today 5 people believed in me in a sea of 50.
Thank you Alan, Mary Anna, Amy, Jared, and David.
I can’t wait for the day all 50 offer as much support as those 5 people did for me today.
I can only hope what I do on a daily basis makes as much of a difference your simple kindness and words made to me today.