As I was running my 12 miles yesterday, I came across a gentlemen who was moving pretty gingerly. I slowed down to ask if he needed any help, but thankfully, he was just working through a sore adductor. We chatted for about 5 minutes, mostly with him going on about how he’s been running for 34 years straight, he did 50+ miles last week, and he and his daughter did the Chicago marathon together last year. You could tell that he takes pride in his health and running, and he wants others to do the same. As we stood chatting, he clapped and gave thumbs up to everyone that went by. “Good job! So glad you’re out here for you! Keep it up!” He also told me about how he’ll cool down after a race by redoing the last couple miles or so. While he’s doing his cool down, he tries to encourage those that are just finishing. He’ll go back and stand along that route and shout encouragement and give out high fives.
As he and I were parting ways to continue our respective runs, he said, “You know, tomorrow’s a great day to run.”
“I thought every day was a great day to run, Gary?”
“Well, yes, but tomorrow, June 24 is my birthday. An especially great day to run. I’ll be 63! What more could you celebrate?”
“Gary, you don’t look a day past 40.”
Happy birthday, Gary. And thanks for being an inspiration and a cheerleader.