Remember to have fun out there

I’m about a mile into my run in the neighborhood today, waiting at an intersection for a car to pass when an old navy blue pickup truck slows to a stop beside me. An even older man with gray and white hair spilling out of what had to be a 30 year old Braves cap rolls down the window. “Hey, can you do me a favor?”

“Sure” I nodded and said.

A great big smile spreads across his face and he says, “Have a blessed day, and have fun out there.”

It was the last thing I expected to hear. Directions? Help me get this heavy thing out of the truck? Have you seen my dog? Have you seen my wife? Have you seen an alien? Any of that was more plausible than what he said to me at that moment.

Running has been a bit of struggle for the last month. Recovering from a race, stressful work, a constant string of events and illness. I started today’s run a little aimlessly. If you asked me why I was out there today I would have mumbled something like “just doing the work.” I may not have looked very happy as I stood there in the heat waiting for cars to pass.

Until this old dude in a pickup truck pulled up beside me and reminded me to have fun out there.

“I definitely will!” I said with a chuckle. He waved out of his open window as he rolled off. The rest of today’s run was great. It wasn’t aimless and I wasn’t working. I wasn’t sick or stressed out about an upcoming race. I wasn’t even hot or thirsty. I was just having fun out there.

Later I thought to myself “I hope to be that old dude someday, spreading a little cheer to people who look like they just aren’t having any fun.” As I thought this an image of the old man appeared in my head. He shrugged and with that great big smile said, “Why not start today?”