Baroy started running four or five years ago, a year or so before his 50th birthday, and has since run three marathons, a handfull of half-marathons, and more 5Ks than you can shake a sneaker at. Being an obsessive-compulsive (though he refuses to admit it), he does all of his training runs on the same route, going up and down the main drag of our neighborhood, a minimum of five times a week.
How he manages to deny the obsessiveness of his running if beyond me. Although he is literally impossible to deal with if he misses a run, that's not the most obvious obsessive characteristic. That honor goes to the fact that he not only refuses to run a different route EVER unless he's in a race, but also that he will only run on the north side of the street, never on the south. I mean, come ON. I may be the obsessive pot, but I am TOTALLY comfortable in calling this kettle compulsive.
But, as usual, I digress.
Because of the consistency of his running habits, he's probably even more recognizable as Crazy Running Guy than I am as Crazy Walking Lady. You never know where you'll find me wandering, but you could set your watch by Baroy. Our friends constantly comment on where and when they saw him; he rarely makes it through a run without someone beeping and waving at him as he goes. There are other runners who he's come to 'know' through their passing one another on a regular basis. And then there are strangers who know him just from seeing him so often.
All of which is background to a story Baroy put on Facebook this afternoon, which literally brought tears to my eyes. Apparently, Baroy was walking out of the local hardware store with N when a guy stopped him and said, "You don't know me, but because of you, I lost 10 pounds."
Baroy looked confused. The guy explained. "You're the guy I always see running on Local Main Drag, and it made me decide to start running and riding my bike again. I've lost 10 pounds, and it's all because of you. Thanks, man." He then shook Baroy's hand, and walked away.
Is that not the coolest thing? It just goes to show you...You never know who you're going to touch, and how, just by being you and doing what you do.
That story totally gave me shivers of pride. But N's response? He looked up at Baroy and said, simply, "That was weird, Dad."
There's nothing like a kid to bring you back down to earth, huh?