Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Running - a glimpse of life

I just wanted to share a couple of things I witnessed whilst running, that I wouldn't have seen otherwise, and that made me really think about what it is to be human.

I passed an elderly man standing at his door waiting for his delivery of "meals on wheels". His cardboard and tinfoil packed lunch was being delivered by a young man in his early 20s. The young man handed over the packets, and almost simultaneously answered his mobile phone. The elderly man seemed to be hard of hearing, and a little confused, as the "meals on wheels" worker turned towards his car and spoke into the phone, already involved in the next part of his day the man called out "So, are you all ready for the snow?"

It really touched me the difference between the two men's worlds. The young man, pressured, busy, and moving quickly from one job to the next, concentrating on the things that needed to be done. The older man, trying to make contact with the outside world, and feel a connection to those around him, making conversation for the sake of having someone to talk to, not realising the pressure the young man was under.

The whole encounter was over in a matter of seconds. The old man was left staring off down the road as the meals on wheels van sped off into the distance.

The second scenario I witnessed whilst running down the cycle track past the Bikeability centre. The centre provides modified bikes for use by disabled children and those with learning difficulties as well as the general population. On the tarmac was a young lad of about 16 on a large trike, cycling with vigour around the track, singing at the top of his voice. It seemed he was unable to contain the enthusiasm and enjoyment he was experiencing, and was literally singing it out.

I love the solitude of running, but I also love the way in which at a sedate running speed you are able to take a glimpse into the lives of those around you. Whilst you pass you are offered a snapshot of what it is like to be someone else, and for this privileged view I am truly thankful.

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