Aww Shucks…

“Your words have the power to hurt or heal. Choose to be an encourager; the world already has plenty of discouragers.”

Tonight I went for my bike ride along my typical trail. I don’t aspire to be a competitive rider, but I do try to put everything I can into my workouts. But, as with my running, speed is not in the cards for me. I’m just not built for it. What I lack in talent, I make up for with enthusiasm — and an acceptance of being average.

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Tonight there seemed to be an inordinate number of super fast, serious riders on the trail. A number of folks whizzed by, leaving me shaking my head in admiration and awe. Then, a large cluster of cyclists passed me. “You’re doing good!” one of them called out to me as she passed by, catching me totally by surprise. I chuckled and did the “aww shucks” thing for the next several minutes. About a mile later, the group rolled to a stop at a water station and I continued to peddle. Of course they caught me and passed me again a while later. “Nice job!” a man called out to me. I chuckled again. Aww shucks. But sure enough, I found myself peddling a little harder and straightening myself up in my seat. This group had left me in the dust twice, but apparently they saw something in my effort that made them reach out in encouragement. It was a little bit like a kindergarten t-ball player receiving a pat on the back from a varsity high school player, but it felt good. I finished my ride strong, with a smile on my face and a little more pride than when I started.

Wouldn’t it be great if we lived in a world where everyone recognized others’ efforts and made a point to encourage and uplift them for it? No teasing or turning up noses at people who aren’t as talented or strong. Just recognition of hard work and an offering of “You’re doing great!” Wouldn’t we all be stronger as a result?

So topping today’s gratitude list:

1.) unexpected encouragement and uplifting from strangers.

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2.) Trader Joe’s flowers.

3.) VLT sandwiches on homemade bread, (Veggie bacon, lettuce, and tomato) thanks to a trip to the local farmer’s market. Like summer on a plate.

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