Along Twin Ponds Road

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By Ray Willis

I not only ate turkey on Thanksgiving Day I was with quite a few turkeys of the human species! Why on earth would a person walk a 5K (3.1 miles) race, when just one half-hour earlier they could have walked or run in a race designed for that very purpose?

Faster runners at the Turkey Trot in Tallahassee were advised to start the 5K, 10K or 15K races up close to the starting line.  The slower runners were encouraged to start further back.  The slowest were respectfully advised to start at the very back of the long line of runners for the three races to be run simultaneously.

I started toward the end of the pack when I should have been at the middle.  Starting the race slowly is fine with me, but within a few minutes or so I expect to be running and not merely moving at a snail’s pace because of inconsiderate walkers who would not give way to runners.  In over 20 years of racing I have never encountered as many who showed no consideration or compassion.

I know that many of you could care less about running or how I was annoyed by the above.  However, this complaint is more about the inconsideration often shown toward our fellow humans in general, whether it be walkers slowing up runners in a race or people just not considering others’ feelings or being unkind to them on other occasions in their daily lives.

I recently communicated with other runners, and they voiced the same frustration I had had about people “racing” who really weren’t there to race and killing the experience for so many of us who do run.

My experience at the race reminded me again of another major consideration in my life.  Why do I do what I do? Why do you do what you do?  Why do others do what they do?  How often do you stop to consider why you are about to take a certain course of action or make a major decision in your life?

Granted, you don’t stop to ask yourself why you are about to do something every time you are about to act. I certainly do not. However, don’t you think it’s an important concept to consider at least some of the time?

One of the reasons I seldom write this column earlier in the week is that I wait until almost the last minute, just in case I get a change of heart on an earlier idea or something more important happens in my life or in the world around me that I think would be more interesting to write about.

I chose to write about inconsiderate people because just one day after the race I felt better about things, and I could then be more positive and incorporate that into my column.

Almost 4000 people attended the Turkey Trot.  That’s wonderful because so many in attendance just felt good about the day and wanted to share it with family or friends and attend an event that is as popular as this one is on Thanksgiving. 

The Gulf Winds Track Club and others sponsored a wonderful race, and they should be commended.  It was a gorgeous day.  The race was well planned and the runners were given every consideration.  People from all over this area brought in goods to donate to those more unfortunate than themselves.  The Refuge House was the organization responsible for distributing most of the offerings to those in need.

I’m not so sure how often my mother had asked herself why she was performing the actions that she did while she was alive.  However, before she died I grew to love her as a true Christian woman who did care about the feelings and well-being of others.  

She would have been 90 today.

God bless you.

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