6'0 tall, former athlete, mother of 3, struggling to keep up on the RUN of daily life.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Stick and Stones . . .

I set out on my run, 38 degrees and lightly raining, hoping to get in a few miles to prepare for a 5K run next weekend.  To save time I opted to run in my neighborhood, passing a busy baby shower and more Seahawks flags that I could count.  Ahead I saw 3 boys maybe 10-12 years old, at my pace I was bound to cross paths with them.  I sped up to avoid getting in their way, as I did I heard "nice running lardo" by one of the boys as the others laughed.  I cant 100% say they were talking to me, so I didn't turn to say anything, instead my pace quickened and I was transported back to age 13.


One of my favorite things about running is interacting with people.  In general folks will wave, pass a kind word, or flash a smile.  I have been honked at, whistled at and received other suggestive comments from men, creepy yes, but I file those in my brain as compliments.  You never know what you are going to get when you step out the door for a run.  Overall the experiences have been about 95% positive... so why is it that I remember the negative??


While playing college basketball I was at the Freethrow line and 2 guys yelled "Hey 33 you are putting a little stress on your Nikes!" They were drunk, stupid and trying to get in my head, as an athlete I had to shake that stuff off.  Today I remember that moment like it was yesterday, but I can't remember my best performances, the moments when I shined and the crowd cheered. 


The mind is a funny thing... Studies show that it takes 6 positive comments to erase 1 negative comment.  As a society we are conditioned to fixate more on the bad things that happen to us than celebrate the good.  What a BUMMER that is!! 


Words hurt whether you are 5 or 34, the sting is still the same.  I cant control what other say but I can control my reaction.  This "lardo" pushed the pace and finished strong, I took the comment and used it as fuel to push harder.  Then when I got home I talked to my 8 year old about what happened, telling him that he needs to be careful with his words and how they impact others.  Who knows if that conversation will sink in?  It is possible the mother of the kid today has uttered the same words to her son.


Here and there I say things I know I shouldn't and I realize it in the moment.  This was a healthy reminder: 1.  I need to watch my negative words because they have power  2.  I need to always say the kind things that I am thinking because people NEED to hear it.


What interactions have you had while running both positive and negative and how did it impact your performance?

73 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a great post and soo true! Why is it so hard to believe the good things about ourselves? Great reminder!

Anonymous said...

Great post! Those boys are just immature and need to be taught some manners! :-) We all know how beautiful you are inside and out! Keep up the good work Mel!

Michelle said...

I read that post on FB yesterday and was instantly mad/disappointed in those boys and their parents. Clearly, they don't have role models. Which is sad, very sad. However, you are the adult and I'm glad you used it to fuel your run. Remember how loved you are. Your beauty radiates from the inside to the outside. Your children would never say that to someone...THAT is what is most important.

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Chad Aaron Sayban said...

Take comfort in the fact that 99.9% of the population will never even attempt the things you have already done. They lash out because that is all they have.

Anita said...

Words do hurt. It takes 9 good things to trump 1 bad thing said. I was running with my 14 year old and had a truck full of kids scream obscenities at me. I pretended like I didn't hear them. Austin my son didn't pretend. He started laughing at me and the name they called me. Sometimes you have to laugh because it does hurt not to.
Never a dull moment out there!

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HalfCrazed Runner said...

Words are powerful. I often pray, "Lord put a gatekeeper at the door of my mouth." We just don't know what's going on in someone's life and how our words can affect them.

Joel said...

Don't worry, I'm sure it's sarcasm. Like calling the 7ft guy Shorty, or the bald guy Hairy.

Matthew Green said...

I'm always scared the sound of my breathing creeps people out...

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Hi Mel
You don't know this, but you have been inspiring me for 3 years! I took your 1000 mile challenge in 2011, and have ever since. I finally hit 1000 miles last year in 2013. This year I am on track for 1200! I just wanted to thank you.

I have nominated you for a Liebster Award on my blog. (again another way you inspired me.)
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