Today’s Run: Directions, Parkour & Homeless Happy

It’s amazing what I end up running into. Today’s run was pretty unique, and I’d like to share a few of the interesting things that went down. There’s a “lesson of the day,” as well as a bonus lesson 🙂

This run was a 6-ish mile trail run in preparation for next week’s 10k Scramble at Riverrock.

Giving Directions

About 5 minutes in, a man yelled across 4 lanes of traffic to me, asking for directions to Byrd Park. So I stopped, waiting for traffic to clear, and sprinted across the Mayo Bridge to help a brother in need. I have no idea why he was headed to Byrd Park, but on a beautiful day like today, I knew I had to do whatever I could to get him there.

Lesson #1

Even when you’re training or practicing for something in particular, you should still stop to give directions.

It’s our city. It’s beautiful. We love it here. And we should want everyone to enjoy it as much as we do. So let’s help get people where they want to go. Let’s be honest… there’s way too many cool places in this city for us to leave a man wandering.

Parkour with Ronnie

I’m about 1/3 of the way across the dry rocks, crossing the river on my way to Belle Isle. I stop to try and figure out where the actual course will be. This guy from up on a rock yells down, “You wanna race? I’ve never lost one.”

My first thought was:

“Race someone on slippery rocks, and risk biting it the week before a race? Uh, no thanks.”

My second thought was:

“Well, I could be the first guy to beat you.”

I didn’t say either of those out loud. I honestly don’t remember what I said to him, but he jumped off the rock & said, “Let’s go.” So naturally, I followed.

He was super-nice, and incredibly agile. He grew up here, and has ‘run these rocks’ a thousand times. Sure enough, he got me right to the ladder I was looking for on the other side. Without taking any rock to the face.

Homeless & Happy

As I was finishing up my run (the last 1/4 of a mile), I hear some music jammin’ from afar. At the end of the Belle Isle footbridge, there’s a grungy-looking dude with no shirt on, dancing to the beat of Pharrell’s Happy that was playing from his old school boombox. His moves were sub-par, but his energy & smile were right up there on the top of charts, alongside Pharrell’s hit single.

I thanked him & told him that was awesome, but I kept on running.

I don’t know whether or not he was homeless, but it appeared that he didn’t have much in terms of the physical possessions that you & I so often take for granted. And he was definitely the happiest one out there today.

Lesson #2

When someone is playing music & dancing in a public space, just to make people happy… JOIN THEM!

I regret not stopping for a quick dance.