Going That Extra Tenth of a Mile

running, fitness, health, the kindness of strangers, humor, Modern PhilosopherWhile I sit here at The House on the Hill, Modern Philosophers, waiting for the arrival of the next blizzard scheduled to drop over a foot of snow on Maine, I thought I’d share a touching story from my morning run.

Running during the Maine winter is no easy task.  It’s always cold, the roads are forever icy and snow covered, and it’s usually dark and lonely along my route.

I’m proud of myself for sticking with my five day a week running schedule, despite the depressing conditions, and it’s mornings like this one that make it all worthwhile.

It was dark, cold, and quiet as usual this morning.  I cut down a little cul-de-sac, my mind pondering the upcoming storm, and it took me a moment to notice the pickup pulling out of a driveway up ahead on my left.

I decided to avoid traffic, and just turned around to head back onto the main road.  I made sure to move far to the left to give the truck plenty of room to pass.

To my surprise, however, the driver pulled up next to me, said good morning, and asked me how far I was running.

I told him I planned to go four miles.

He then asked, after a pause, if I wouldn’t mind running an extra tenth of a mile for him.

I replied that it would be no problem and offered a smile, which he could not see since I was wearing my face mask.

He thanked me, gave me a wave, and wished me a blessed day.

running, fitness, health, the kindness of strangers, humor, Modern PhilosopherThat’s the sort of thing that gives me hope for this world.  The kindness of strangers, a warm smile, a friendly wave, a sincere gesture of good will…how could it not put a smile on my face and make me feel better about my day?

I’ve had people ask me to put in some extra miles for them on my run, but this stranger only asked for a tenth of a mile.

Something about that really warmed my heart.

And made me want to grant his request.

So instead of turning at the next corner, I went a little further down the main road, and then doubled back.

I bypassed the usual turn down my street to go to the next block before coming back to end my run in my driveway.

When I checked my FitBit when all was said and done, I’d gone 4.12 miles.

He ended up getting an eighth of a mile.  As those of you who grasp the concept of fractions know, an eighth of a mile is longer than a tenth.

That was how I started my day.  I welcomed the break from the usual lonely run, and it was nice to have something to distract me from thoughts of the upcoming blizzard.

running, fitness, health, the kindness of strangers, humor, Modern PhilosopherSince I haven’t updated you on my running/fitness progress lately, let me take a moment to share that I’m now doing four mile runs before work.  That’s up from the usual three to three and a half miles.

I’m also averaging 26,000 steps a day for the past week.  I cracked 183,000 for the week last night.

Yes, I’m a little out of control, but it feels good.  Spring is coming, and I can’t wait for the warmer, sunnier weather so I can go for much longer runs.

It’s certainly easier when kind strangers lend a hand…

About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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5 Responses to Going That Extra Tenth of a Mile

  1. How cool is that?! I’ve never had anyone ask me to run extra for them. 🙂

  2. The Hook says:

    At least you’re out of control in a healthy way, Austin.

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