Friday, April 29, 2011

Sneaker Sam

     Do you have those people in your life that you really do not know, but you would notice if they were gone?  Is there a certain person at the coffee shop that makes the perfect latte, or the woman at the water department that doesn't seem to mind your rambunctious child as much as others?  Maybe it is a waitress or waiter at a local spot that you really hope is working when you go in. 
     I feel I have several of those folks in my life.  For instance, at my local favorite Mexican place there is one fella that is the creme de la creme of servers.  One day, just hours before having Lincoln, we went to eat there.  When we made into the restaurant, this man met us at the door and said, "your table is ready"!  We sat down to a table already set with our drinks of choice, salsa types for everybody, and extra napkins and a plate for our little boy.  It was such a treat to be "known" by someone that really doesn't know us.  To feel like another person cares means so much. 
     Lately, there is a fella that I see almost daily.  If I don't see him, I start to worry about him.  I do not know his name, and we have only spoken once very briefly.  I like to call him Sneaker Sam.  Sneaker Sam is a middle-aged looking man that began running on my street some months ago.  When he first made his trek past our home, I thought...oh I hope he doesn't have a heart attack!  He was red all over and pouring sweat.  He was over-weight and seemed to be breathing with immense difficulty.  I thought that this guy was insane for doing this to himself.  Yet everyday in the afternoon there he was --running.  The only sound was that of his sneakers hitting the sidewalk and his heavy breathing.  Weeks passed and soon months.  One particular week, I did not see him at all.  Just the week before was when we finally spoke.  He had asked about our Chocoloate Lab that was noticably missing.  I told him that she had just died and he seemed sincerely sad.  He said he always looked forward to running past our house and seeing her on the front porch.  That was about all that was said, and he continued his run.  The next week he was gone.  At the same time, I had heard that a man in town was found dead ---in front of the funeral home--- after collapsing from a run.  I just knew it was him.  I scoured the paper and the web to see if there were any pictures of the fella to find out if it was Sneaker Sam.  It wasn't.  I was relieved.  Soon enough, he made his return and has been running daily.
    The weeks and months have passed.  I have watched him shrink in size as he dedicatedly pounds the sidewalk.  I have wacthed his body transform from the look of death, to the look of a fit person.  I am proud of Sneaker Sam.  I am his silent cheerleader.  He doesn't know that he is inspiring me daily when he takes the turn past our home. 
     Sneaker Sam makes me want to be better.  He makes me want to be dedicated and commited.  I see him and the sweat on his face, and I want to find the determination that he has.  I would love to sit and chat with him...but to do so would be interrupting his run.  I hope sometime to see him in the grocery store or at the bank so that I can speak and let him know that I admire him and his efforts.  Most of all, Sneaker Sam makes me really think about the impression I leave behind.  Does anyone even notice me when I go about my daily life.  Do I do anything noticable enough to make an impact? 
     Now, I am not meaning to sound as if I want to be noticed and aplauded, for that is far from what my thoughts are.  I just hope that I have enough light in my soul that others take notice.  Am I dedicated in any of my efforts like Sneaker Sam?  Do I have an impact on anybody's life?  Do people even see me, or do I blend in with the crowd? 
    Sneaker Sam, if you are out there...thank you!  Thank you for reminding me that others are always watching.  People are always looking for something to encourage and inspire them. Thank you for making me think about my own light.  I hope when you turn the corner to pass our home, you see a little bright spot on the street.  I hope maybe that is why you choose to run our block.  I hope, Sneaker Sam, to inspire others as you have inspired me.

~ B Charmer

1 comment:

  1. How touching.Makes me cry but you are so right.I have these people that I come across. I will take your thoughts and run with them.I think I am going to share this with the girls that I work with too.It's kind of negative at my workplace.There are some that are positive.I think this can make everybody to take a moment or two to think about this and others and not so much themself. Thanks for posting.

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