This weekend, I got to volunteer for an inaugural all-girl 5K and half-marathon called Run Girl Run. It was a fun event, but there was something pretty interesting that happened to me. I mean, I was a volunteer. I just had to get up, get in the car, and get to the event. As a course marshal, I just had to stand there at the 4.5 mile marker and make sure that someone stopped at the stop sign and that the runners made their way down the right side of the course.
As I left the main area to head over to my designated spot at 7:30 AM, there were only a few runners moseying around. I got to my location and waited:
Alone, I waited. I watched the occasional car drive by, I listened to the roosters crow; I even smelled the faint scent of someone frying bacon in the house next to my post.
And, I waited.
Hark! Ahoy! The first runners came heading up the road. I moved to my designated spot with my orange safety vest and ushered the runners in the right direction.
“Good job!” I said as the first couple of runners came by.
And they said: “Thank you for being here.”
Then the next group, “Thank you!” And the next, “Thank you for doing this!” and again, and again…
Wait, What? I said to the next ones, “You’re doing the hard part! Way to go!”
“Thanks for keeping us safe,” came the reply.
There were nearly 300 runners on the course, and no matter how out of breath they were, how they may have been struggling, they managed to say “thank you.”
And maybe I’m a moosh, but it still moves me.
Maybe there’s something we can all learn from this group of runners with moxie — saying thank you to a person, no matter the circumstances should be the norm, not an exception. How great we all can feel with just a hint of gratitude, just a sliver of acknowledgement.
As all the runners and walkers came by, they said thank you, and I was only one person on the course. I am truly certain they thanked everyone along the course.
Aw shucks ma’am, I’m just doing my job.