It’s The Little Things

Ever notice how this time of year seems to – occasionally anyway – bring out the best in people?  I know it’s hard to believe sometimes, especially after the absolute crap situation in New York City this weekend…

NYPD

It seems now more than ever, the human race has declared war on itself.  No matter what side of things you may be on, it might behoove class homo sapiens to stop.  Take a moment.  Breathe.  And remember what’s REALLY important – not just at this time of year, but all year long.

hug

I work with a woman who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.  She doesn’t make a lot of money, keeps things as inexpensive and affordable for herself as she can, and does her best just to get by.  She’s currently undergoing chemotherapy, has lost her hair, and is exhausted more often than not.  But you would never know it.  She still comes into work every day, smile on her face, and a kind word for everyone, no matter how crappy she may be feeling.

Knowing her situation, one of my coworkers suggested we chip in and get her something for Christmas.  No brainer really.  We decided a gift card to a local grocery store would come in handy.  Let me tell you how that woman’s face lit up when she opened the card and saw what was inside.  You’d have thought we’d given her a winning Powerball ticket.

excited

Later that day at lunch, I was telling the hubby about how happy my coworker was with her gift card.  Without a second’s hesitation, he pulled open his checkbook and wrote her a check.  All the while saying, “this is what you do when you have so much and other people are struggling just to put food on their table.” (Spoiler Alert: just one of the many reasons I absolutely adore this guy!).  When I got back to work and handed her the check, the waterworks started again, followed by the obligatory “I’m not gonna take it, oh yes you are” argument.  Needless to say, I won that fight.

its-the-little-things

As we get all wrapped up this week in gift buying, cooking, decorating, and whatever other chaos this holiday may bring, don’t forget about those who aren’t as lucky.  Those who have no family, no money, are far from home, who are just down on their luck could use a little pick me up too.  And it doesn’t even have to cost anything.  After all, when’s the last time you had to pay for a simple word of kindness or a hug?

Labrador hugs

 

Enjoy the ride.

Do you know someone who may down going through a hard time right now?  Is there someothing you can do to help them, even if it’s something small?  What could you do to make the holiday just a little bit brighter for someone?

The Places Running Takes You

As I sat in front of my computer one day not so long ago, reading my way through blog world – or what I lovingly call Blogomania – I came across this post from Running on Healthy.  It got me thinking about every thing, and every place, this crazy sport has given and taken me to.

SONY DSC

Let’s start with the hubby, (who shall be formally introduced in a future post).  If it wasn’t for our common interest in running, we probably wouldn’t have spent so much time together, getting to know each other better, running races together, and eventually getting married.

Yippee!

Yipppeee!

Sadly, all the years of pounding the pavement has taken its toll on him, but he still remains the best coach, cheerleader and water boy a girl could have.

C'mon girl, pick up those knees!

C’mon girl, pick up those knees!

Since we love to travel as often as we can, or at least as often as we can get a Wonder Mutt sitter, it’s not too difficult to figure out what’s always included in our luggage.  Running shoes and tech clothes usually end up taking up as much space as bathing suits, sunscreen, and obnoxious tropical print shirts, (seriously, how many of those things DOES he have?!?).  We’ve hit the road, sand, or treadmill in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Italy, Key West, and of course, Disney World.  We’ve run countless steps both through our own neighborhood and along our local beaches.  Wherever our tootsies have taken us, we’ve always discovered new sights, sounds, spaces, and occasionally, some really good margaritas.  I mean REALLY good.  Like, I-think-if-we-have-just-ONE-more-we-can-easily-run-an-ultra kind of margarita. I think they call those “I am Super Runner, See Me Fly” margaritas…

Super Juice

Super Juice

Reminiscing about all these places always leaves me feeling a bit nostalgic for them, but excited for the ones we’ve yet to see.  Our running shoes will see the road in New Orleans, California, and of course, the World of the Mouse this year.  The excitement factor is definitely up there and I can’t wait to see what each new place has in store for us.  You never know what’s around the next bend in the road, and that is what makes each new route feel like a trip into Adventureland.  Okay, maybe not quite, but I couldn’t pass up the chance for a cheesy Disney comparison.

Is there really anything that compares to taking in the local flavor of a new running spot?  I’ve been told to expect some, shall we say, “interesting” odors on our trip to New Orleans.  I say bring it on.  It can only add to the whole experience.  Does this flat road running tropical baby expect to freeze her dupa off as she gasps for air on the hilly San Francisco streets?  You betcha!  Will I freak if during a run through the City of the Angels, the earth decides to take a page from singer Carole King and suddenly feel the need to move under my feet?  Probably.  And I will look back and know that I loved every minute of it.  Well, maybe not the earthquake so much.  Do they have earthquake parties?  Hmmmmm…..

shark

Knowing that I have both the ability and opportunity to run in places far beyond the streets of my own neighborhood, always leaves me with feelings of gratitude.  Grateful that I can move my legs and chew up the pavement, whether it’s outside my door or an ocean away.  Grateful that I can breathe in the ocean air and see the cliffs of the Pacific.  Grateful that I can run with the hubby, Wonder Mutt, or both, even if it’s for just a couple of miles.  And grateful that running has brought me to this little corner of the internet and by extension, to you, dear readers.  So whether or not I ever get the nerve to strike up a conversation with you at a meetup or a starting line, know that I am thankful for you too, my running friends.  You and certain talking Mouse.

Enjoy the ride.

Where has running taken you?