Thank You, Ms. Angelou

In case you haven’t figured it out by now, perspective is a big thing with me.


Perspective is what keeps us focused on what’s really important and not wasting on our time on what isn’t.  I like to think of it as another one of life’s great equalizers.  Ever get so caught up in a professional or college sports team event that you get seriously ticked off if your team loses?  Been there, done that.  Especially when these two go head-to-head.  Even Wonder Mutt covers her ears.

(photos courtesy of NFL Uniforms)

(photos courtesy of NFL Uniforms)

For anyone following me on Facebook or Twitter this weekend, you would have seen me tooting my own horn when I pulled this off:


I’ve only been back on the pavement for a month, so pulling off an average sub 10-minute mile is big bahoozies to this turtle-paced girl.  And to say I basked in the glory of my new-found happy place would have been putting it mildly.  Images of crossing the finish line in at Boston with a big 3:00 flashing on the time clock flashed in my brain. (Okay, not really, but it sounded good, didn’t it?)  But knowing I still have a lot, and I mean a LOT of work to do, brought my hard-earned little personal victory to a quick halt.  That, and Maya Angelou.  Huh? you may be saying.  What does Maya Angelou have to do with your time, Black Dog? And that would be a very good question!  Well…hang on to your britches, ’cause here comes another dollar alert.

Unless you’ve been sleeping through your life this past week, then you know the world lost an amazing spirit.


That sultry-voiced songbird was a master at calling things like she saw them, with an incredible amount of class and style.  She could make you feel like you could be a better person just by listening to her speak.  Her words were capable of moving celebrities to tears, presidents to delight, and the most cynical among us to consider – even if only for a moment – that humankind really could all get along, if only we made the effort.  She was a woman of talent, kindness, toughness, and of course, perspective.  She hardly led a charmed life.  Raped at the age of 7 and not speaking for years after, Angelou feared her words of accusation were what killed her attacker.  But that incredible mind never stopped imagining, creating, or believing she could make a difference.


After considering what this amazing woman lived through – and accomplished – made my little running victory seem not quite as earth-shattering as I might have wanted to believe.  But – and this is a big but – Ms. Angelou probably would have told me otherwise.  I’d like to imagine she’d grab me by my (sweaty) shoulders, look me dead in the eye, and tell me to repeat after her:



Which of course, I would do.  And believe.

Thank you Ms. Angelou.  Thank you for your spirit and convictions.  Thank you for being a class act and believing anyone could do anything, if they just put their mind to it.  Your spirit will live on in us all.  And we will all be better people for it.

Enjoy the ride.

Who has made the strongest impression in your life?


7 thoughts on “Thank You, Ms. Angelou

  1. Congrats on your great run. My Dad was my biggest inspiration having the motto, Never Give Up” Not sure why I capitalized that, but he always emphasized that when we were growing up. Love the last quote by Maya Angelou, perfect for any aspect of life.

  2. You may have rad about her at some point on my blog, but a girl I met a few years ago named Kerry had a huge impact on my life. I met her by chance, she was a few years younger than me and was undergoing treatment for Leukemia. She was amazing, optimistic and incredibly sweet. I was just drawn to her and her positive spirit. She never once believed that she wasn’t going to beat her cancer. Unfortunately she passed away about 9 months after I met her. I began running to raise money for the Leukemia Society in her memory and often think of her amazing courage when I need inspiration.

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