Monday, July 23, 2007

Random Acts of Kindness

Saturday: 25 miles on the bike, 4 miles (ish) on the run. All was well, and I didn't really have to back off my knee at all (though that said, I was in HR zone 2ish mostly the whole time. Favorite part:

I'd just left my house and climbed the big hill near my neighborhood. I'd maybe been on the road a quarter mile. I mentioned that I recently rediscovered my Garmin 305, and that I'd only used it a few times before I'd lost it, so it had some settings that weren't to my preferences, and I realized this just into my ride. So, top of the hill, I stopped and was leaning over my handlebars, tapping away at my computer.

A voice said, meekly, "hello?"

I turned to the yard in front of which I'd stopped my bike, and a small woman, maybe in her 50's, walked precariously in my direction, holding a yellow frosty mug. "Are you okay?" She asked.

"Oh yeah, I'm fine!" I told her, "Just making some adjustments to my computer here."

"Ohhh," she said, relaxing her shoulders and smiling, "I thought you were sick or something!"

"Oh! No, I'm fine!"

She laughed, now totally relaxed. "I looked out my window, and it's such a hot day, and I saw you slumped over there and I thought, 'Oh no, he's not doing very well,' so I brought you out some water." She said, nodding towards the mug in her hand. Then she blushed, and said with a laugh, "Now I'm embarrassed!"

I was extremely touched. "Oh, sweet of you! What a kind thing to do. No no, I'm just getting started on my ride here and had some tinkering to do here...I...I'll certainly have some of your water, you went to all the trouble!"

And so she handed me the mug, it the currency of this brief exchange (it would have been a let-down, after all, to not have purpose for me to drink from it), and we chatted a bit about how her brother liked to ride bicycles, and how far was I going today, and it's hot outside today, and how I should be careful. And then she took her mug, and I thanked her again, and with a smile and a wave she went back inside her house.

And I thought of the first time, in 2004, that I rode my new road bike (not knowing yet the differences or advantages or even existence of those crazy 'tri-bikes'), and how I got a flat tire and walked 3 miles in my cleats as four different highway patrol officers whizzed by, none of them stopping for a "how's it going", and of all the times I'd been on a long ride and some redneck blares his horn just behind me, or of any number of less-than-polite things I've experienced or endured on a ride, and how this one thing made up for all of them.


R. Jeffrey Davis said...

That is great. Thanks for sharing the story.

qcmier said...

That's awesome. That made my day just reading about it.

chris said...

It's stuff like that gives me some faith in the human race, just a bit though since as you pointed out it how rare that indeed is.

BethB said...

I think these rare moments of an unexpected connection between people, or with nature that make a normal training run into something so much more. Great post. Could I talk you into sharing this with the other triathletes at the site? We've got a ton of others training for IM and half IM who would love this post. I hope you will come by.