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?