Sometimes a little something from someone, at the right moment, makes all the difference.
Years ago, I was running the New York marathon. Long about the 18-mile mark, my body became dehydrated; the mineral salts and excess lactic acid began to freeze the muscles. Basically, everything hurt; athletes often refer to this as the “wall.” And, I had hit it.
Along the East river, the racers had thinned considerably, I was essentially alone. I heard this distant cry, “Come on, Lucas, You Can Do It!”
As I continued, there it was again, only this time I heard my name, “Come on, Tim, You Can Do It! Looking good, baby!” The call became louder and clearer.
Just ahead was the source of my newfound inspiration. There stood an older man, at his feet, a Scotty dog, the rain gently misting his felt-tattered hat. Holding binoculars in one hand and the New York Times in the other, this benevolent soul was matching participant numbers to the runners listed in the newspaper. Steadfastly, he cheered on each approaching runner, one at a time.
Passing this dear man with his little black dog, a warm feeling overcame me, tears filled my eyes and stung my cheeks. I remember thinking, someone is out there for ME! Someone recognizes my struggle, my accomplishment. Someone cares, if only for this one moment.
I often reflect on this powerful action, especially of late with the uncertainty in our nation. And, I am reminded, it takes only one act of kindness, one person present to recognize the struggle, the accomplishment, and touch a soul, if only in passing.
Photo: Getty Images