There’s something to be said for the casual smile, eye-grins, and anonymous “hellos.” Today they fueled my run. For those who aren’t aware I’ve been balancing my time between San Diego and Austin, Texas for the past couple months. I have to admit, the time here has served as a reminder of the girl I once was and the person I desire to be…nice. People are just more friendly around here, without even thinking about it. People stop and randomly make conversation with the person standing beside them at the grocery store, at a park, or like today, on a run.
Running is not my forte, nope I’m just not a die hard fan of it. I do it because it’s quick, I like the feel of cardio, and I can get to the lake faster running than walking. Today I took a lunch break run down to Town Lake…err, Lady Bird Johnson Lake (as it’s called now). I was feeling the humidity and the heat and it was starting to make me drained. But then, all of a sudden a guy at the intersection I was crossing said, “Great day for a run,” and smiled. I smiled back and begrudgingly agreed. Then I noticed it, ever person I passed made eye contact and smiled with their eyes, said “hello/hi,” or just smiled…it was wonderful.
Side note, when I very first moved to San Diego as a very young girl in the 90′s my sister, Jody came out for a visit. We decided to make a game of saying “hello,” to every person we passed just to see who’d say “hi” back. One person. That’s it. And he said,” howdy,” and happened to be wearing a cowboy hat. It crushed me, not him, just the fact that folks forgot about casual greetings. Perhaps fear them.
Back to my run, the topping on the cake was at the very end as I was nearing a hill up South 1st when a guy ran up and said, “don’t worry, I got your back,” and laughed. I laughingly replied that he will surely pass me and wave at me from the top. Nope, he decided to run with me and encourage me the entire hill, then told me to have an amazing day and was gone. Wow, the power of niceties, the gentle smile and greeting. It fueled my run, and has subsequently fueled the remainder of my day.
I’d love to see cities everywhere take a lesson from the folks around Austin, Texas and just start tossing out support to strangers. If that’s too tough, then stick with a smile from your eyes. Here it’s just natural, the smile just comes from the heart. It’s part of the reason I’m here again, to remember. To remember my roots and embrace the love from this Great State. Don’t fret, I enjoy Cali and other states, too, there’s just something different around here and I think it starts with the smile.
I’m smiling at you today, too!
Just Wendy Jo