20 Miles of Smiles

Posted on October 18, 2013



I’m typing this post from the car on my phone after just completing my 20 mile training run. I feel exhilarated. Wiped, but euphoric.

There is nothing like running a long distance to clear, organize and focus your mind. These long runs help me straighten out all the tangles I don’t have time to deal with in my fast-paced, day-to-day existence. I’m figuring out what my next moves are in life, and what my priorities are. What I value, and what matters.

Running on my favorite trail, the American Tobacco Trail, also known affectionately to locals as ‘the ATT,’ I get the opportunity to pass many other runners. Most of them are training distance, like me. You see some hikers with sticks, lots of cyclists. Every now and then passes a variation on a bike, like those seated contraptions, or a scooter of sorts. Some walkers, some joggers, and some dogs gleefully wrapping themselves around their owners during an attempt for a run.
What you see mostly though, are their smiles. Their warm good morning greetings. This might be my favorite part of running. It’s a community, a community of support. Everyone on the trail, whatever their activity or fitness level, is on the same path. They are outside and glad to share positive encouragement for the good work fellow trail-goers are putting forth.

Now occasionally, you do get a few folks who are staring at the gravel and never look up to see your face. That’s okay. I won’t judge you for that, some people are private. But I do feel sad that you are looking down at the gray, gravel path when you are running through an endless aisle of 40+ foot trees during the fall!

Everyone, support your fellow man with a kind smile. It costs you absolutely nothing and can give someone running twenty miles just the extra bit of encouragement they need! Or maybe it can give someone jogging their first mile ever the encouragement to come back, again and again, to this friendly sport on this friendly trail.

Happy Running Everyone!