To the man who gave me a random, silent high five this morning on my run: Thank You. I needed that today.
I was in a black hole this morning. Starting last night actually. I had a hard time sleeping because I felt really down. I was stressed, overwhelmed, and vividly aware of all my faults and mistakes. Not a fun mental state to be in.
When I finally woke up for the day I had NO desire to go running. My 8yo woke up right after me and pleaded with me to start the shower for her and stay home to make her breakfast. I was SO tempted to stay home, but Aaron was prepared to help the kids and I needed to somehow climb out of my black hole. I explained to my daughter that I really needed to run FOR ME and I would be home in time to drive her to school. I gave her a hug and walked out the door.
Every step was forced. I was cold and tired and emotionally down, my achilles tendons hurt, my back and neck were kinked. That kind of horrible pain when you can only look in one direction because your neck muscles are frozen on the other side. Ugh. And once I start down that path of negativity, the floodgates open, you know. Life can feel pretty heavy.
Around mile two of my run, the first runner I had seen (or at least noticed) was a random husky guy in a big cotton hoodie; a true sign of a casual, probably not serious runner. As we approached each other, he held his hand out in a silent gesture to give me a high five. Those tenths of a second between when I saw his hand and when I slapped it decisively, passed quickly. It was the most instinctual and unplanned high five I had ever received in my life. There were no words exchanged and not more than a hundredth of a second of eye-contact. As soon as I slapped his hand, I felt an incredible boost of energy and support. The shift in my emotional energy was an act of God.
I’m not sure if this man put much thought into his gesture, but he totally made my day! Positive, warm emotion washed over my sad and pained heart, cleansing the negativity away as tears welled in my eyes. My mind heard the words, “Good job getting out here to run even though you didn’t want to. Its hard some days and you keep doing it anyway. We runners are in this together. Keep loving yourself and honoring your need for daily exercise and meditative thought. Keep going. Keep up the good work.”