Every day we are surrounded by negativity. Whether it is our own negative self talk, turning on the news to hear of another crime, or looking at a Facebook feed full of people complaining about how crappy life is. We are faced with negatives everywhere and it seems like it is impossible to get away from them. One thing we can do to affect our surroundings is to try and be the positive in people's lives as opposed to contributing to the negative.
The thing I LOVE about my running team, TuTu Many Races, is that we are a very diverse group of people. Most everyone in the group is a new runner. We vary in age from our early twenties to mid fifties and our ability levels are just as extreme. Our main goals are that we want to have fun and to spread happiness. We cheer for everyone, the fast runners coming back at us on an out and back and even the people at the back of the pack. We try and be as positive for each other as we are as everyone else and in that, we have accomplished amazing things.
Just recently we were at a 10k and it was miserable. It was raining and gloomy and before the race even started, I was stopped by a woman who wanted to take a picture with me because I was wearing a TuTu and high fiving everyone. Once the race started I lost sight of her but her smile was contagious and I kept that with me as I was chugging along in the rain. I realized that I would probably not be getting the time I had hoped for and instead decided to just make the best of the race and to have as much fun as possible. The course was an out and back and separated by a giant median that usually is full of cheering people but this year the crowd was a sparse. After I made the turnaround at the halfway point, I looked over and hooted and hollered for the people opposite me. I soon noticed an older gentleman, walking alone with his head down. Without even thinking, I ran across the median, high fived him and told how great of a job he was doing. I then ran up to two women who were laughing at my crazy antics and high fived them as well before crossing back over to my side. Then the rain picked up and it started pouring, and then I noticed the blister that I had been trying to ignore and I was fighting to keep myself positive. My brother, who had come up with his wife from Georgia to run their first 10k with me, was in the midst of trying to keep me focused by playing a game of leap frog, racing ahead of me and after I ran ahead of him is when I saw the police car following the last of the walkers. There she was, my smiling friend from before the race. She was at mile 2 1/2 and just behind her, a few feet away was the police car. She wasn't smiling anymore and before I knew what I was doing, I was crossing that median again. Slogging through deep water and mud I made it over to her and when she finally looked up, she smiled and thanked me. I gave her a huge hug and told her "you've got this!" She hugged me again and as her smile brightened, she lifted her head and said "I do!" I crossed back to my side one final time and thought to myself, "so. do. I!" At mile 6 the blister that was taking over the ball of my foot popped and I thought I was going to die, my pace kept slowing but I had this. I finished the race, 8 minutes faster than last year and immediately hobbled over to the med tent. I wish I could've been there to cheer her across but I was barely standing myself and I knew she was going to make it, she had that look of determination.
The point of my long winded story is that even though we are surrounded by people who think we can't do something, or worse yet try to derail us from our path, even when we are limping in pain and crying on the inside, we can still be the positive. If each of us embraces one moment each day and choose to be the positive, we can make it to the end. We can do it together and carry with us the smiles of those who's days we have made just a little bit brighter.
Be TuTu Positive!
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