It is a well known fact among those who know me well that:
a. I like being the center of attention. Sooner or later it's all about me. I have tried to change, but it's
b. I like being credited for all great things. I don't like taking credit for them as much as being given credit for them. It is always nicer to receive than to take.
This morning we ran the San Diego Blood Bank's Naked Juice 5K. It was fun, despite my bumming knee. Actually, the knee didn't slow me down too much, for which I was grateful. I finished the 5k (3.1 miles) in 40 minutes--which is a slower pace than I used to run a few weeks ago, but I feel better overall.
I had a couple of teary moments, which made me realize that the bright young age of 35, that I'm little bit like a teary geyser. If I haven't been able to change yet, it's probably not going to happen anymore.
First, I got all teary when one of the regular blood recipients came to the stage and thanked us for saving her life and listing the things she can now do that she couldn't before. Half an hour later, I teared up during the National Anthem--which happens just about every time I hear it.
Towards the end of the run, I saw the same homeless man I have seen each time we train/run Downtown by the Bay. He is always there, toothless and missing fingers, cheering on any group of runners at just about any event. He sits close to the end of the finish line in the park and calls out the runners numbers as they pass by. Almost everyone I know likes seeing him. As I got close, he started reading my bib number, stopped and instead yelled, "GO TEAM! GO TEAM! IT'S ALL ABOUT THE TEAM!" (Go Team! is the Team In Training motto and I was wearing my TNT shirt). I got a little misty smiling and running past him. He stopped his counting to give me a toothless grin and a fingerless waive. After I crossed the finish line, I grabbed some free goodies and food. Since M also grabbed a couple of sandwiches, I thought it would be a good idea to give the extras to our cheerleader. Plus, M wanted to take his picture for our friend who couldn't join us for the run. As we headed toward him, one of the runners started coming towards me and said, "You guys saved my life! Thank you so very much!"
Now, it's one thing to have people say that LLS is helping them (which I have heard from a number of survivors and their families) or that TNT has helped them improve their lives in some way. But for a complete stranger to run up to you and say you're saving their life because you're running? I can honestly say I have never done less to get credit for so much. And I have never been so moved by someone's sense of gratitude toward a cause that I am blessed to be a part of.
So once again, a perfectly well intentioned, seemingly selfless thing has become all about me. I can only say I'm humbled by it all I try to fight back the tears a few hours later. I pass on that sense of gratitude to all of you, my very generous donors and supportive friends who have helped get me to this point. Your generosity is truly changing lives.