Encounter In The Park

I’m back in my hometown for my 30th high school reunion (can I just say, OMG – 30 years!!??). I was a bit trepidatious because I hadn’t kept in touch with anyone – would I remember anyone, would they remember me? Turned out to be hugely fun! I loved seeing my old classmates and catching up. I also loved spending a few lovely days with my parents.

And I got in a few good runs. I ran a couple of times at McNaughton Park, which is the site of a 100-mile trail race. (you know that has me thinking….)

And today, I went out to James Field, here in Pekin, to run speed drills. I wasn’t the only one out exercising in the mid-day sun; there were several others who came out to walk a few laps while I was running. At some point, while I was resting between laps, some guy got out of his car to comment on what a hard workout I was doing. And then he told me how he can’t run and doesn’t feel like he can do much of anything anymore.

I resisted the urge to state the obvious: you’d feel a whole lot better if you would lose 50 pounds. Instead, I tried to make it a teaching moment.

I pointed out that you don’t have to run. There are plenty of other ways to move. And I used one of the walkers as my perfect example. She was out walking. She wasn’t running; she wasn’t even walking particularly fast. But she was walking. She comes out just about every day and walks several laps around the park.

Good fo her! She is what I so frequently talk about: do what you can. You don’t have to go fast or far. You don’t have to be a gifted athlete. You just have to try and be consistent. It does make a difference.

So, thank you to my fellow exerciser today. You helped me make a valuable point. (It turns out that her daughter graduated a year behind me. I remember her, although I was busy with music and she played basketball so we didn’t really know each other.)

And I hope that maybe just a little of what I said sunk in.


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