Here’s a blog entry from Pamela’s staff member: Katharine Sawchuk.
So I ran this year’s Sun Run. Around 55,000 people ran with me and I WON! No. Joking. Totally joking. I did not win. But I completed the 10 k run within my own goal time of an hour.
This was the first time I had ever done the run, or participated in something so massive, with so many people along side me. It was a pretty great experience. I got to people watch like crazy; some people were super prepared with their exercise outfits and iPods. Some wore outfits – two girls were dressed head to toe in blue spandex – and some you could tell were just there for the challenge.
As I was running, I felt really inspired by all those running beside me, in front of me and behind me. I felt like we had all gathered together as a unit, and in turn that meant we all supported each other. But what was really cool, came at the 5 k mark…
As I came to the middle of the race, I noticed up ahead a man holding a sign that said “Free Hugs.” I looked immediately around him, and no one paid him any attention. Everyone was so focused on the race that either they were missing him accidentally or on purpose, or maybe they just didn’t want to hug a strange man (fair enough.)
But I made it a personal mini-mission; hug that man. “You need a hug,” I said to myself. “Go ahead and wrap those arms around him. That will give you the strength you need to finish off the race.”
He was running up ahead, so I tapped him on his shoulder and to his surprise and delight (because he gave me a big, beaming smile), we embraced in front of tens of thousands of people. That set off a chain reaction. Because I stopped and hugged him, others started to stop and hug him. If one person does it, other people follow. It was definitely an interesting thing to watch.
Sometimes you can be so focused on one activity that you miss things passing you by. Now, I’m not saying you should hug a stranger, but it’s not a bad idea to every now and then pay attention to specific opportunities that would otherwise blow right by you.
By the way, that hug was totally refreshing. It also helped he smelled good.