I thought today would be remembered as the day that I came back from injury to run my first 10k race in eight months.
But, while heading out on a wet Sunday morning in January to face a few challenging hills and test out your newly-rehabbed legs is a pretty memorable way to spend the say, it’s not the race that will forever stick in my mind.
It’s the volunteers.
It’s one thing to get up early on a Sunday and run. It’s quite another to head out even earlier to put up signs and then stand in an oversized high vis jacket on one of those hills just to make sure each and every runner finds their way.
As I reflect back on my rather laboured performance on this challenging course, I think not of the hill that wanted to take out my lungs or the 6km point (which I was convinced was 7km), but of the selfless people standing in rain doing their bit.
Because of those soggy high vis jackets and wet hair, I conquered a ‘back-from-injury’ demon today.
And, for that, I will be eternally grateful.
These volunteers, however, didn’t just stand there dripping. They clapped. They smiled. They looked concerned. They offered encouragement. They were kind. And, they gave me the confidence to believe that maybe, just maybe, I could call myself a runner once more.
And, so I thanked them. I thanked the man who looked more drenched than me – for just being there. I thanked the lady with the brilliant smile. I thanked the man who handed me a much-needed cup of water. I thanked anyone in high vis in Greenwich Park.
And it felt really good. This currency called kindness makes us all millionaires.
So, I encourage you to thank the next person you see that makes you thankful.
I didn’t imagine it would take a run to get me thinking about thanking. But, I’m glad it did. I shall try harder to thank people as often as I can.
So to race volunteers everywhere, I thank you. I thank you for the early mornings and the soaked clothes. I thank you for your energy, your time and your commitment. I thank you for your kindness and your willingness to help.
And, I thank you for the opportunities you offer others and the gifts you share every day just by existing.