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Friday, August 13, 2010

The Handshake

Whoever said Twitter was a colossal time sucker and I won't entirely disagree has never found themselves on a couch at almost 9 o'clock at night still needing to do a 6 mile run.

Of course, in an act of overwhelming desperation and the feeling of wanting to put on my pj's rather than workout clothes after the long day I had, I found the need to turn to Twitter where I put one tiny tweet out into the universe expecting really nothing back.
christieo: alright people, it's almost 9, i need to run 6 miles. MOTIVATION PLEASE. 


about 12 hours ago via web
Instead, I got this back:
tweets
tweet2

And so because I couldn't simply put, "Nevermind." in a tweet and close the computer down and feel good about myself for doing so, I simply turned my brain off, put my workout clothes on and dragged it to the gym.

Where I promptly began my 6 mile run.

I watched Elizabeth Edwards tell her story on Larry King (man, she got screwed! That sucks, she went through so much and she's such a nice lady!)

Then I watched a "Bizography" about George Foreman and his awesome grill (we have two) and how he made at least triple from that grill than he did as a boxer and how all his kids are named George (or Georgette) and it's because he found out the truth about who his biological father was later in life and he never wanted his children to feel like they didn't have or know the truth about their father and how he got into so much trouble before he became a boxer and still did after becoming a boxer but then one day he found God. It was a great story.

Somewhere around the part where I learned about George naming all his children, "George," I saw my neighbor. He was wrapping up and heading out and it was about 10 o'clock and I turned down my I-Pod because he was walking toward me and I cheerily said, "Hi!" as if I were not completely out of breath, which I was. And he said, "Hi," and it was a quiet "Hi," and he stuck his hand out and he shook my hand and that was it. He left.

Of course I expected a little neighborly chit-chat even though I was pretty sure I couldn't hold a conversation at that point but somehow the handshake said more.

He'd seen me running around the neighborhood and when he walks his dogs past my house, usually asks about my running or how it's going and he had donated to my little treadmill stint for Team In Training.

So I'm not sure if the handshake meant, "Nice to see you," and it probably did and very possibly could have.

But to me, since nothing else was exchanged, the handshake at that moment said, "GREAT JOB. I KNOW IT'S 10 P.M. AND YOU DIDN'T WANT TO COME HERE OR TRAIN FOR YOUR MARATHON/TRIATHLON BUT YOU ARE HERE. AND I'M SHAKING YOUR HAND FOR DRAGGING YOUR BUTT OFF THE COUCH AND COMING. BECAUSE THIS MEANS YOU ARE DEDICATED, EVEN IF SOMETIMES IT DOESN'T FEEL LIKE IT."

I didn't even realize the handshake meant all those words until I wrote it down just now, really, but it did and I love how just a kind gesture can speak volumes.

That handshake gave me the energy to go another 30 minutes because at that point I was getting ready to shorten my run.

But I didn't shorten it.

I finished. And then I got back to Twitter and I saw that my friend finished her intervals because we said, "You jump, I jump," and I sent out a "thank you" and an update about having finished and felt good that I didn't let down all the rest of my Twitter friends who gave me that extra push I so badly needed.

You see, the story is not about the run itself.

It almost never is.

9 comments:

Heather D said...

I watched Elizabeth Edwards at the gym too!
You are awesome. Twitter is pretty amazing, as a motivator, especially when you've got people to keep you focused. Great run, hooker!

Beki said...

Well first of all - you are a ROCKSTAR!!

I'm glad I could help! The twitter community support is 2nd to none in my book!

Love ya girl!

Jessi said...

I LOVE that! I totally need someone to kick my sorry butt off the couch and start training. Good for you for getting over to the gym so late in the day!

Deb said...

Dangit! This made me cry. Great story.

Marisa @ Loser for Life said...

Awesome, Christie! I know how hard that must have been to go to the gym after you were already home and cozied up. That is sheer determination and commitment, girl! Great job!

Kirsten said...

You know we've got your back...and that you have ours! Love YOU!

AnnG said...

I love this story! Sometimes a little extra push is all it takes! Thanks for being there for all of us and keeping it real!

april said...

Well if I had known you were going to post my tweet, I may have been a bit nicer about it...okay, no I wouldn't have. ;)

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

Perfectly said! I feel the same way. It is about enduring beyond the run itself, isn't it?

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