Who Are You There to Encourage?

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In Albany last Sunday when I ran the Mohawk-Hudson Marathon, the first 17 miles flew by but when I hit mile 19, I encountered headwinds to go along with the heat, humidity and fatigue that was already present. It wasn’t pretty. And yet, there was Noah and just past him, there was my dad. Noah met me in stride with a water bottle filled with electrolytes, a pack of easy-to-digest carbohydrates and a smile. “You’re doing great dad, I’ll run with you awhile.”  And for the next mile and a half, we ran together.  The cramping didn’t go away. I didn’t magically find my legs under me again (it would get worse before it got better, and it did get better). And Noah didn’t impart any wise words of advice. He was simply there. For me. While he could be. Then he went racing back to meet up with my dad so they could both drive to the finish and off I went towards the Hudson River bike path to finish the final 10K.

Noah and I enjoy running together when we can, so in that sense it wasn’t out of character for him to do so this past weekend. But still, he jumped in.

What would it take for me to jump in and run alongside, so to speak, someone I didn’t know? Not to do their work for them. But to support them with whatever I had available. With no expectation of anything in return.

Many of you did that this past Monday at Sarah’s donation-based class. We raised over $200 for PRXPR.ORG, an organization committed to helping Puerto Rico in the aftermath of the hurricanes that hit them.  And many of you are supporting or are contemplating supporting this weekend’s Run Against Hunger in Croton.

For those who haven’t had the chance to donate yet, I apologize that the link sent out in the last email didn’t work for many of you. There’s still time to register for the walk, for either the 5K or the 10K runs or to simply donate to a great cause; the updated link is here.

On race day, I received encouragement from my personal team on the streets, from Paula, Lilly and my mom back home in Garrison, from my sisters checking in by text, and from thousands of anonymous volunteers, neighborhood residents, and well-wishers – and I carried the ‘good lucks!’ that I received from so many of you with me too.

Let’s mobilize for one another. Or as Harry Chapin is often quoted as saying, “When in doubt, do something!”

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