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A Little High Five Goes a Long Way.

August 20, 2016

I went out late this afternoon right after work for a short 4 mile run. It was less humid, so I thought running at this time of day wouldn’t be so bad. I was wrong. Sure, it was less humid, but it was more sunny, and I always find that running after work is for some reason 10 times more challenging than running before work or when I have no work. It’s not like I run for 8 hours a day when I’m at work or anything, so I really don’t get it, but it is what it is – running after work feels like I’ve got a couple of 20 lb lead weights chained to both my ankles and I’m dragging them along behind me with each. heavy. step.

Anyway, I ran one mile and I already wanted to stop. I started laying into myself, like I often do, with the “what’s wrong with you, you lazy bum?” and “you just ran 10 miles and now you wanna quit after one??” or my personal favorite, “you can eat extra pizza if you keep going!” But even the lure of extra pizza was being outweighed more and more by each leaden step I took.

IMG_6945

Hello darkness, my old friend.

About 1/3 of the way into mile 2, I began to let the negative thoughts really overtake me. I just didn’t want to keep going. Then, like the light at the end of the tunnel, I came around the bend and was spotted by a little boy sitting on the bench. He leapt off as I approached, stood at the edge of the path, and stuck his hand out, waiting for me give him a high five as I ran by. I smiled, and high fived him like nobody’s business. “YEAH!!!!” he shouted as our hands met. “THANK YOU!!!” I shouted back. I had to keep going now. This boy was proud of me, and wanted me to. How could I give up after that?

As I reached the same curve about 1/3 of the way into mile 3, there he was again, and when he saw me, he again leapt off the bench and offered me a high five of encouragement. “Go around again!” he said. I smiled and thanked him again, wishing I could tell him just how much those high fives mattered today. I decided I would keep going for the full 4 miles, and when I passed him again the next (and last) time around, I’d tell him just that.

I trudged along, all the while hoping to see my little cheerleader just one more time on my last loop. As I came around that curve for the last time, the bench where he had been sitting was empty. He was nowhere to be found.

I was sorry I hadn’t told him how important his gestures of encouragement were to me. But I realized that even though he wasn’t there, the idea that he would be had given me hope. And it was that hope that kept me going. The hope of seeing him one more time. The hope of being able to tell him how grateful I was. The hope of a high five.

Hope is a powerful thing. It pushes us to keep going; to work harder; to be better. Never give up hope. A high five is waiting for you, just around the bend.

 

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 20, 2016 8:15 pm

    Love, LOVE this post. Thank you for sharing!

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