Thursday, June 24, 2010

Beautiful

Recently I ran a 5K. The morning temp not too sweltering which made for a great race day. After crossing the finish line, I was reminded why I love mornings like this when so much has been accomplished before 8 am. As I took a long drink from the water bottle handed to me, I saw a woman bound across the finish line. I guessed she was in her early 40's, with short cropped hair and a bright pink t-shirt on. Her momentum seemed to steer her directly in my path and I promise you, I have never seen someone this giddy or this enthusiastic after a run: 5K, 10K, or 2 blocks. Her smile never left her face and as she passed me, she said, "Good morning." 

I responded, "You take finishing a race to a whole new level. I love your energy."

"Honey, life is beautiful. I can run! I will celebrate this day. I have beaten cancer that should have taken my life decades ago. And I am 65 years old today."

There are those unpredictable moments when you briefly get caught in the prism of someone else's shimmer and gold. And despite how much you would love to capture that luminosity, you know it is so authentic and rare that you will only witness it as long as your conversation lasts. 

And 65? Amazing. I wanted to hug her. And I was happy enough to be in her path of light even for a minute. If given those circumstances, would I radiate that brightly? Or shouldn't we try to radiate that brightly despite the circumstances? And yes, walking back to my car I certainly reiterated that I loved mornings like this when not only has so much accomplished before 8 am but when an unexpected reminder that life is beautiful greets you with more power than the morning sun.
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*for some additional beauty today, come visit my guest post at The Bottom of the Ironing Basket.

77 comments:

JadeLD said...

Wow this is a beautiful post, thanks for sharing this.

Have a lovely day,
Jade

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

Oh, I love this! What a wonderful reminder to live life to its fullest...seems like we need those reminders often!

My name is PJ. said...

I know the sensation. I've experienced it many fleeting moments in my life.

I like to think I absorb some microscopic bit of that shimmer...me being the sum of all my experiences and all.

Intense Guy said...

:)

I'm sure your beauty caught her eye too.

And thank you, JennyMac, its so nice to hear about someone that beat Cancer - for me to hear this is uplifting more than you will ever know.

The Robin's Nest said...

I'm training to run a 5K in a few weeks and I am a beginner runner. Lately when I start getting tired during a run I tell myself how lucky I am to have legs that can carry me because some people do not. That keeps me going.

That was a great story Jenny Mac and so nice to hear. I hope we can all strive to live our lives in such a manner

Susan Erickson said...

A little reminder how quickly our lives can change and how brilliant life can be when the alternative has loomed on the horizon. Life is a gift and it is so important to treasure it. Early morning is magic....

Jules said...

People like that are definitely inspiring! AND so are you, my dear friend!

Jules said...

People like that are definitely inspiring! AND so are you, my dear friend!

Dumbwit Tellher said...

It's just so good to hear the word 'survivor'. I've missed you JM; took a long blog break to go home, etc. Hoping all is very well in Atlanta?
Thanks for this uplifting piece.

x

TKW said...

That woman is an inspiration! Thanks for sharing this happy moment. It made me smile.

Caty said...

I love meeting people like that. They remind us that life is worth living and that growing older is no reason to stop :) I recently ran a 5K today and now I'm slightly addicted to running. I love the "high" it gives me! Great story :)

MommaAmma said...

Maybe you don't know the light you radiate? Some might see some smiley lady running at them and ask to themselves "why the hell is she so happy?" instead of starting a conversation where inspiration is found.

Thanks for putting some sun shine in our days!

f8hasit said...

'path of light'...I like that phrase. I've come across some people like that myself too. Their energy is contagious!

Thanks for your post!
:-)

Cara Smith said...

I love hearing stories of beating the odds and having a totally new outlook on life because of it.

Erin said...

so moving and inspiring. and the way you write about it makes me feel like i was right there. you are so gifted, JM.

;-)

MommyLovesStilettos said...

Such an awesome story, and what a wonderful experience for you! :)

Ashley Stone said...

what a great post! Glad I started off my day reading this. xoxo

Mighty M said...

JOY! Pure and radiant, how lovely!

Kimi@SoManyKids said...

I just love people like this that just seem to light up the room with their positive energy!!!

DaisyGal said...

I LOVE that story,,life is Beautiful!!!!

thanks for reminding me and GOOD JOB on that run!

Taylor-Made Wife said...

such a moving story! Thanks so much for sharing!

Jennifer said...

Thank you for the jump start this morning and the reminder to appreciate what all the life we have around us. I am going to go do just that. :)

sitting on the mood swing at the playground said...

What a great post. Energy like that can be contagious! I'll channel the two of you during my run today.

Juliana said...

My favorite post of yours yet. Life is beautiful. Life is good. If we need something to be thankful about we can just check our pulses:)

Rita/Fighting Off Frumpy said...

I love this! It reminds me of my mom, who is a breast cancer survivor. I'm lucky to be in her light on a pretty regular basis. :)

Eva Gallant said...

How great for that lady, and for you to be a part of it! Love it.

Simone said...

What an inspiring post JennyMac....moments like that are few and far between but they definitely stay with you don't they.

Well done on the 5K... I have organised a group of 17 friends to run one this Sept and we are fundraising for Breast Cancer Campaign.

Thank you so much for a fabulous guest-post, I was thrilled that you agreed to do it. We are off to France in August and I can't wait....but your post has had me thinking of other destinations slightly further afield! We honeymooned in the Caribbean and I would live to go back there.

Have a great day :)

MommaKiss said...

Gorgeous. Wouldn't it be amazing to be able to live so fully every single day? I try. Don't always get it right, but I try.

Joann Mannix said...

Extraordinary. What a reminder of how to live each and every day.

Last year, I was in San Francisco, doing one of the things I love most in the whole world, riding my bike across the Golden Gate Bridge.

It was a Saturday and there was a triathlon going on. And on my way up to the bridge, I was cheering on the weary runners coming around the bend for the last leg of the race. I stopped for some water and started talking to an elderly man who was taking a swig of water, too, before charging back into the triathlon. He was incredibly fit and I complimented him on that. He told me he was 72. 72! And he told me he took up running when he was diagnosed with cancer in his 60's. He said he vowed he wouldn't let cancer beat him. He was now cancer free and had made his way up to triathlons. I was so moved by his story, by his incredible will to make the most out of his days.

Sorry to hijack. I just wanted to share after hearing your beautiful story.

The Boob Nazi said...

Gosh. I need to get back to the gym.

Robin said...

What an incredible encounter, a real gift.

-----------------------------------
My photography is available for purchase - visit Around the Island Photography and bring home something beautiful today!

Elle said...

I have goosebumps just reading this, so I can only imagine how amazing it must've been to stand in her "path of light" (awesome visual picture). Life IS beautiful, and those moments that let us know it are truly amazing. Thanks so much for sharing this fantastic story!!

Matty said...

That is a great story. You were in the right place at the right time to get a glimpse into a wonderful life lesson. It's all in your perspective. What one person sees as a bad day, another is just happy they are alive. A testament to having the right attitude.

Help! Mama Remote... said...

That's the energy and personality that's contagious. My Grandma will be 80 next year and she's been cancer free for over 50 years. That's glorious!

blueviolet said...

I could feel her joy right through this post! Beautiful!

Babes Mami said...

What a great lady! Makes you remember how amazing life really is!

Btw...congrats on the 5K!

Eyeglasses & Endzones said...

Yeah for her! And Yeah for you for getting to radiate with her! I love moments like that which make you think about how lucky we all are!

Myya said...

What a special thing to witness!

Bossy Betty said...

Love these kinds of experiences! They certainly put things into perspective!

Little Ms Blogger said...

She is a definite example of what many people forget. Enjoy life!

foxy said...

Thanks JM. That story made my heart smile. How do you always do that??

Cathi said...

What an awesome post, JennyMac! I love it! I go on a walk everyday and I make it a point to say hello and smile at everyone I see - you just never know the power a smile can have on someone - so share it with everyone! xxoo :)

Kristin said...

It's the survivors that get me through the day. I have lost too many people I've loved to cancer...but then I remember that there are countess survivors who beat it!!

M-Cat said...

I love moments like this. Makes you all the more grateful for life itself!

Grace said...

That IS beautiful! I love how simple things like running can bring you in contact with the most amazing people that you might not have had anything in common with before.
thanks for sharing this "bright" moment!

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

A nice reminder that we are here for just a fleeting moment so enjoy!
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Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

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Pricilla said...

And one can only hope that occasionally you find yourself in the position to provide that shimmer and gold to others.

Thank you

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Ultimate compliment....this gave me chill bumps!!

LiLu said...

Well, she totally just brightened my day as well ;-)

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

She's amazing and so are you to recognize the shimmer radiating from her for what it is - beauty.

Aging Mommy said...

Jenny this is a beautiful post. You do funny so very well but you also do poignant and heartfelt so very well too. What am amazing story, the sort of tale that makes all of us appreciate how good life really is that little bit more.

Herding Cats said...

Seriously, if we take a moment to appreciate all our battles - big and small - wouldn't running a 5K seem like mind over matter? What a lovely woman!

shortmama said...

Very inspirational!

Ellen @FirednFabulous said...

I LOVE these moments. It's so easy to get stuck in your bubble and feel like you have it so hard, when really so many people are going through so many different things. That's why as much as I bitch and rant sometimes, I rarely ever feel sorry for myself. Ok, I'm rambling. But yes, i love positive people like this, and if I can only hope I'll be running in races at 65!

Heather said...

The unexpected reminder turned beautiful moment, twice after it is written. Thank you for sharing!

Lisa and Laura said...

Wow. What an inspiration! And you would be the same way.

Slamdunk said...

Thanks for sharing. It is moments like those that broaden our perspectives.

Running in the early morning heat is courageous as well--as opposed to rolling over and hitting the snooze.

Java said...

What a great post! Shows that we can never take life for granted and just how quickly time goes by!

Laoch of Chicago said...

Nicely expressed.

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

I love this! And I hope when I'm 65 someone will mistake me for early 40's. Or at least that I'll be loving life so much I radiate brightness, too. ;)

The Random Blogette said...

Wow! That is so amazing! I just hope to be alive when I am 65 and this woman just ran a 5K!

AmyLK said...

what a fabulous way to be reminded of how beautiful life is! and how quickly we can forget that in the daily grind.

Tiffany said...

Wow...that is really inspirational. We should all learn from her example.

Secret Mom Thoughts said...

Life is beautiful. Hope I'm still running at 65.

Kate said...

Great post. What an inspirational woman - great reminder to appreciate what you have and how great life is.

Kate xx

Taylor-Made Wife said...

I just want you to know I just linked the word vaGiant in one of my posts to your anatomy post a few days ago... and I have told the story to many many friends. Thanks for always making me laugh :)

Brittany said...

That's incredible! I hope I'm running when I'm 65. And good for you for doing that 5k!!

HalfAsstic.com said...

Wow! What a fortunate encounter! And truly inspiring!
Thanks for sharing such a beautiful message, Jenny.

Kristy said...

What an inspiration! Thanks for sharing and giving us all a beautiful reminder!

SPLENDEROSA said...

Just beautiful, Jennymac.
Got a great giveaway at my place, come on over. xx's

Debbie said...

What an amazing woman she must have been! A great reminder to live life to the fullest.

otin said...

That is really amazing! I have trouble with 20 minutes on the treadmill!!

Holly said...

What a beautiful moment.

Anonymous said...

So perfectly written. Thank you for taking us all to that moment too.

secret agent woman said...

What an exquisite moment! I always feel lighter after encounters like that.

Jesa said...

Loved this!


lovely blog :)

Cheers, Jesa