Random Kindness

After yesterday’s unexpected near- Sabbath, I wanted to push myself.  I felt refreshed.  I ran 5 miles on the treadmill.  I did it very s-l-o-w-l-y, because I wanted to see what was in the tank, under the hood, insert your favorite automobile metaphor here.

I also needed to know if my hips would lock up again. Before I ever left the house, I stretched a bit.

When I arrived, I picked the treadmill next to the floor fan, which made all the difference.  Being a near-midget, I positioned it on my back.  I don’t need it blowing all up in my face, drying out my contacts.  Not cool.  Even short people need to see.

I paced myself at least a minute slower than my usual per mile speed.  I told myself to relax, enjoy the music.  The scenery didn’t change much.  Cars passed.  The fog lingered. Birds drifted from tree to tree.  People in various states of bundled-upness walked past, with dogs and/or groceries.

As I neared mile 4, I felt my hips start to get tight.  My legs didn’t want to go forward.  I upped the speed a teensy bit, looking for a new rhythm.  It wasn’t enough.  As soon as I hit the 4th mile, I paused the machine to stretch.  As I got off the treadmill, I noticed an older man watching me.  He’s also a runner, though today he was using the free weights and the post-medieval torture devices known as weight machines.  I stretched out both hips by doing some deep lunges.  I hopped back on and made the last mile a fast one.  My legs felt good, warmed up and ready to roll.

After I wiped down my face and my ride, I started to leave.

“Good run today,” the older man said to me, smiling.  It wasn’t a question.

“Yes”, I said, familiar by now with the instant camaraderie among runners. “I’m finally getting over my injury.”  It’s only taken what, 13 months?! Bah!

“You did a good long run,” he said.

“Yes”, I said, smiling back.

And it was.  Always nice to get encouragement, even from strangers.

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2 thoughts on “Random Kindness

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