Monday, October 7, 2013

Small acts of kindness make the world a better place

As promised on Facebook, I am going to post my essay that I wrote for my English Comp class but first I have a few things I'd like to write.  First, I want the world to know that I have the best running friends in the world!  Although they are scattered all over the place, they are still the best!

Second, this past Saturday was one of the best running/walking days.  It started for me at 4:15am.  I started my run just before 5am and made a loop around the Coke course.  I was going to run for a while but for some reason I was just having a bad day and I stopped at 7.5 miles.  I got cleaned up and made my way to downtown Corinth for the start of the Rotary 5K.  This was a race that I ran a couple of years ago and last year I attended and took pictures.  I did the same thing this year and really enjoyed it.

While I was doing that, some of my friends were running the race and some of them were in Winchester, TN, running either a half or full marathon.  A couple even completed their first marathon and got a spot on the Wall of Pain.  Congrats to all of you that crossed the finish line no matter the distance!

I also got to participate in something awesome too.  As you may or may not know, I am running as a St Jude Hero in December.  That simply means that I have committed to raising funds for St Jude.  My goal was to raise $500 and as of this writing I have reached that goal and then some.  I am a member of Team Corinth and we had a roadblock in Corinth and I got to work the 11am-1pm shift.  It made me feel so good to see so many folks come through and give.  If you came through and gave while we were out there, thank you so much!  It's still not to late to give if you want.  You can go to my personal fundraising page and donate by clicking here. (I'll take this link down at the end of my fundraising)

Now for what you have been waiting for.  When I was coming up with ideas for what I wanted to write my essay about, my instructor gave us some guidance.  I won't go into all the boring details but I knew almost immediately what story I was going to tell.  This is a story about Nanny and me.  It is also about something little that she did for me many years ago that I have always remembered and have told on occasion but never wrote it down.  Anyway, the topic applies to so many areas of life but since this is a blog about my running I will tell you about how it applies here.  So many people have come into my life over the past three years and all of them have made a difference in my life.  It doesn't matter how simple they might have thought it was but I can tell you that it changed the direction of my life.  For example, those three people that kept posting their runs on Facebook until I finally said, "If they can do that, so can I."  I could go on and on but I won't.  Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy the essay.

The Ice Cream Cone

“Small acts of kindness make the world a better place.” That was one of the many sayings my grandmother, Nanny, used to tell me while I was growing up.  She set the perfect example for many others and me during her lifetime.  Every time I go out for an ice cream or drive by the local dairy bar, I am transported back in time when I was on the receiving end of one of her acts of kindness.  Even though I was only six or seven, this one small gesture would stick with me throughout my life.

It was a hot, summer day in 1978, and my parents, sister, and uncle decided to go swimming.  I wasn't going because I had just recently had tubes put in my ears and couldn’t allow water to enter them.  Instead, Nanny was going to carry me to the dairy bar and treat me to some ice cream.  Before we even arrived, I knew I was going to choose vanilla because it was my favorite flavor.  As we pulled up to the front of the building, Nanny asked in her soft kind voice, “What do you want?”

“A great big vanilla ice cream cone!” I replied excitedly.

As she handed me some money, she told me to go order and pay for two large ice cream cones.  Ordering at the pickup window wasn’t something that I had done before, and this made me feel like a big boy.  After I ordered the cones, I was going to carry the first one back to the car to Nanny and then return for mine.  What happened as I was returning with the second cone was totally unexpected.  As I was walking from the pickup window to the car, which couldn’t have been more than 15 feet, the top part of my ice cream slipped right off the cone.  I didn’t know what to do and just stood there and looked around to see if anyone had seen what happened.

As luck would have it, the lady, who had given me the ice cream cones, had seen and opened the pickup window and said, “Come back here, sugar!  I'll put some more on it.”

I returned to the window and she topped me off with more ice cream.  As I was making my way back to the car, the ice cream fell off a second time.  Again, I didn’t know what to do and quickly made my way to the car and sat down.

Nanny could tell that tears were beginning to form in my eyes and she looked over at me and said, “Here, son.  You can have mine and I’ll eat yours.”
As we exchanged cones, a big smile came over my face and as I looked into Nanny’s eyes, I could see the love she had for me.

Although this small act happened over 35 years ago, I still look back at it and am reminded of the times I pay it forward to my children, hoping one day they will look back and pass it on to future generations too.  It is truly those small acts that a person does that really count and do make the world a better place.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Has It Really Been 3 Years?

I wrapped up my running for the month of September this past Sunday and with that I also wrapped up another year.  I can’t believe that it has been three years since I first stepped outside and took that very first step to a new me.  In just under 11 weeks I will arrive at the start line of my very first marathon.  Something that I would have never thought I could do even one year ago.  This past Saturday I reached a new personal best in distance of 16.5 miles.  It had been a while since my last PR and it was worth the wait.

I’m actually going to do my marathon a little different that most of the runners that I know.  I am going to be running 16 minutes and then walking 4 minutes.  This will have me running 80% of the time.  I first tried running 8 minutes and walking 2 but that just wasn’t working out for me.

Today I want to share with you some stats that I’ve accumulated over those three years.

Total Mileage: 2,254.46
Total Time:  2 weeks 4 day 21 hours 54 minutes 1 second
Total Days Walk/Run:  423

2013 Mileage:  720.42
2013 Time:  5 days 16 hours 11 minutes 15 seconds
2013 Runs:  81

2012 Mileage:  850.41

Total Mileage from 1/1/2012 to 9/30/2012:  567.41
I have ran 153 more miles this year than this time last year.

I have ran 1,003.42 miles since last October 1st.

Thanks for all of your support by reading this blog and I hope to get back to blogging on a regular schedule pretty soon.