Let’s All Be a Little Kinder to Each Other

Be kind: You can't see how far I've already come. - HolleyGerth.com

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I pull on my tennis shoes, open the front door and begin to run. The sky stretches blue above me and the road feels firm beneath my feet. I stand tall with my shoulders straight and arms swinging rhythmically by my sides. I even feel a little cool in my shades.

By the end, things have changed. I’ve gone into what I like to call “T Rex” mode. My arms are bunched up under my chest like tiny little claws and my cadence has the grace of a dinosaur doing ballet. Yes, it really is as awkward as it sounds.

Cars whiz by and I worry about what they’re thinking. I didn’t mind other people bearing witness when I first began and felt strong. But now I want to shout, “Look away! Look away!” (And I might but I can’t breathe).

Even more, I want a t-shirt that says, “Be kind: You can’t see how far I’ve already come.”

Maybe the whole world needs t-shirts like that one. Because we’re all just trying to take the next steps as best we can. And while it can be easy to judge, we can’t see the hill she just conquered. We don’t know this is her third lap around the same struggle. We missed the miles she put in while the rain poured down.

Less criticism. More cheering.

Less assuming. More understanding.

Less gawking. More seeing the best.

I open the door of my house and practically collapse on the floor. My husband comes over to make sure he doesn’t need to call 911. “I made it,” I manage to gasp, “I’m home.” And suddenly that’s all that matters. I don’t care that I’m a mess. That I smell bad enough to scare the dog. That Nike would probably pay me not to ever wear their shoes.

The next time I run I notice a woman struggling up an incline one slow step at a time. I smile and give her a thumbs up sign. I get it. And I would want someone to do the same for me.

Until the whole world gets those t-shirts, let’s all be a little kinder anyway. We don’t know how far anyone has come. Or how far they have to go. And we don’t know when it might be our turn to climb that hill.

XOXO,

Holley Gerth

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