After 1700 miles I Finally Get One

My exercise of choice is walking. Aggressively, mind you, I maintain a speed of 4 mph. I’m not sauntering down the road stopping to admire the bunnies. Okay, I’ll stop or slow down to snap a picture of something really pretty or of wildlife that I happen upon. I may as well enjoy myself while torturing myself, right?

This year I’ve been averaging 80 miles per month, which is a big step up from last year’s 40 mpm. I really only meant to increase my distance in January to kick start my New Year program, but I must’ve liked it because I’ve kept it up all year.

Anyway, in the 1700 miles I’ve tracked through my Nike+ app over the past 3 years, this week something new happened.

I’ve been completing interviews for my upcoming virtual book tour. I’d just completed one interview in which I was asked what I’d want people to say about me/my books/my writing when they write my obituary. I said I hoped it would say that I’d inspired people to do certain things and one of those things is to be a cheerleader, even when you don’t know the person you are cheering for.

I finished answering the questions and then laced up and went on my daily walk. It was a nice day; a bit smoky, but not too hard on the lungs. I had my ear buds in, Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari to entertained me. I was about ¾ of the way through my walk, crossing an intersection at a traffic circle when a car approached. She could have continued on and been past before I got to that side of the street, but she stopped and waited, so I kicked up into a jog. She rolled down her window and said something. I pulled the buds out of my ears and said, “Huh?” She said, “Way to go! Keep it up.” She gave me a thumbs-up.

1700 miles and no stranger has ever done that. It made me grin and added bounce back into my step for the rest of my walk. I cheer for people I don’t know all the time. I compliment people I don’t know all the time. Because it makes people feel good.

Was it Kismet that caused it at that particular time? Was it because I’d included it in an interview that will go out into the blogospere over the next couple months? Was it simply coincidence? I don’t know. But I do know it made me feel really good. Now I’m doubling my efforts to cheer for others and can I suggest, that you do the same? It can feel pretty darn great when your words make a person grin, you know. So, there is benefit on both sides of the compliment. When you are out in the big wide world today or tomorrow, or everyday, find a way to say, “Great job” to a stranger and give them the encouragement to keep going.


  1. This was a cute story, Kai, as well as a great reminder of the importance of small, kind gestures!

  2. This was a cute story, Kai, as well as a great reminder of the importance of small, kind gestures!

  3. Very nice! I like how sometimes these small acts of encouragement come at the times we need them most.

    1. So true, Karen. Though, honestly, I can't think of a time when I didn't need it, or at least appreciate it.

  4. Great idea, Kai. Must try it. I smile at people a lot. Sometimes they smile back; other times they frown. I used to have a poster in my classroom of a bull dog with a droopy face. The caption read: If you see someone today without a smile, give them one of mine.

    Nice post.

    1. I do live in a very friendly town. I remember when we first moved here, it kind of scared us. I've always smiled and said hi to people I don't know, and I'd gotten used to the strange looks. When people actually initiated it first I was the one giving strange looks :D


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