You Do You

“Always remember you are just where you need to be. Everything you are experiencing is conspiring to help you grow. So let go and love where you are and the infinite wisdom of your life in this moment.” 

This morning I saw snow flurries blowing around in subfreezing gusts of wind, so before I set out on my run, I pulled on my gloves, fleece-lined tights and thick hooded sweatshirt. As cold as it was, I didn’t have a lot of company once I got out there. Until about a mile in, I finally noticed a guy running my route…clad in shorts and a t-shirt.

What is wrong with that guy? I was incredulous. I mean, seriously? It was freezing out there and he was running around in a t-shirt? I rolled my eyes and thought about taking a picture of him for a snide instagram post.

But I never could catch up to him.

Frustrated, I gave up. And then I thought about that sentence again: I couldn’t catch up to him… let me say it again: I couldn’t catch up to him. But I clocked my fastest mile of the year trying to. For all my snarky assessments of his minimal clothing choices, he sure was a lot faster than me. Maybe there’s a reason for that…maybe he knew exactly what he’s doing.

Then I remembered that earlier in my run, I had stopped and bent down to take the above photo, much to the confusion of a woman watching me from her car at a nearby stop sign. I could see her straining to get a look at the sidewalk as she drove by, curious as to what I’d photographed. I’m guessing she’d passed a little judgement my way.

I had to smile. Yet again I was reminded that life never ceases to teach us what we need to know.

 I had assumed that the t-shirt and shorts guy was careless or even a little nuts. But only he knows the reason for his clothing selection. I stop mid-run to take photos of faces in reflections in puddles and heart formations in residual snow piles. Somebody could easily call me weird or say that I don’t take running seriously. But I know I take my distracted runner photos as an act of mindfulness and to remain connected to the world around me.

We’re each on journeys that are unique to us. And I’ve realized it’s not my job to assume what anyone else is doing and why.

T-shirt and shorts guy, I still can’t fathom your gear selection. But I don’t need to. After all, you left me in the dust (and snow). I just hope you got home and warmed up quickly.

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