With about 1/3 mile to go, she was running neck and neck with a 13 year old girl.
At this distance in a 5K, racers generally start sizing each other up for the final sprint. Amy was steeling herself for a big fight.
13 year old girls can sometimes be really tough. Sometimes a lot tougher than 13 year old boys because they mature faster. They are deceiving too. They’re usually really skinny and don’t look fast.
Then this girl turned to Amy and started to speak.
What? No one talks at this point in a 5K.
And the girl said, “You can catch that lady ahead of us. I believe in you.”
Stop and let that sink in.
That 13 year old girl represents the best of what we can find in running with others.
This is now my favorite running story of all time.
As a father, I think what I love best about my kids is their innocence. We always assume that growing up brings with it a certain degree of jadedness.
Does it have to be like that?
Why can’t we all be like that 13 year old girl more often?
I think part of the problem is the news.
Imagine you were an alien from outer space watching our news. You would probably think the human race was a lot more horrible than it is.
And you’d probably bomb us out of our misery.
We forget about all of the amazing, tiny joys in our days.
Yesterday afternoon I sat in our back yard while my boys were flying their little kites. I started to get antsy and considered going for a book to read.
But then I asked myself how many chances will I really get to see them do this?
When I’m 70, do I want to remember a book or two little boys circling our yard, falling, laughing, and having fun?
My wife and I have a running joke about police officers. From time to time they pass us at high speed on the highway.
I always say, “they’re probably hurrying to help someone.” She gives me a smirk and says, “yeah right.”
We’re a good team. She’s street savvy and reads people well. She’s also a great negotiator but sometimes doesn’t give people a chance.
I tend to trust people more. Sometimes they really come through. Sometimes I get taken advantage of. Ok, I get taken advantage of a lot.
I’m not saying either perspective is better, but I prefer mine.
I’m happier living in a world with (mostly) good people.
People like that 13 year old girl.
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