Badass Old Lady Points

The other day I went to my neighborhood grocery store. It’s a small store, which means I usually see the same clerks working there every time I go. It was, however, recently bought out by Sprouts, and each visit I was starting to see more and more things being rearranged and more familiar faces being replaced by new employees.

I don’t enjoy grocery shopping. I actually hate it. Having everything change in my favorite store made the experience even worse. Because of that, when I was ready to check out I purposely waited in the longer line to be checked out by a young guy I recognized. Even though he was probably one-third my age, he was always friendly and courteous.

On this particular day, as he checked me out, we discussed the incredible humidity outside. I mentioned that I had run earlier in the morning, and he said he had as well. He seemed surprised to learn that I ran. We talked about how brutal it was to run in Texas in the summer, in both high heat and humidity, and I mentioned how tough Sunday’s trail run had been for me because of the extreme heat.

This is what Sunday’s trail run felt like.

He casually asked how far I had run, checking out my last few items, and I laughed and told him 20 miles.

He stopped what he was doing and slowly looked up, searching my face as if really seeing me for the first time. Very quietly, in disbelief, he said, “You ran 20 miles?” When I nodded my head, he stared at me, broke into a huge grin, and yelled, “KUDOS! That’s AWESOME!”

As I walked away, feeling his smiling amazement and hearing him yell after me to have a great day, I had a little extra spring in my step. Despite our age difference, I suddenly felt kind of badass. I wished I’d had a Harley parked outside the store, or that I looked like Lolo Jones as I sauntered off.

Somehow, I felt like I had just made his day, when it was really me who scored all the points.

* Photo: By Worldwide Happy Media (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons



  1. mlchaplin

    One of the biggest perks about long runs is being able to tell other people how far you ran and watch their jaws drop. Kudos to you, indeed – old lady or not!

    • Mind Margins/Run Nature

      It’s true, but sometimes I wonder if they just think I’m crazy when I tell them how far I ran. And then sometimes I KNOW they think I’m crazy–and I feel like I’m crazy for having run that far!

  2. imarunner2012

    Love it. And you weren’t even bragging, just stating a fact. A friend of mine is 50 and she works with a lot of twenty-somethings and she gets a lot of respect from them because she is in better shape than they are and can run a marathon.

  3. sahbinahvioletflynn

    Yep! You are a badass, hot mama. I think women in our age range (I’m right up there with you) are just getting our second wind! Go Girl!!!! (p.s.I love Sprouts and drive out of my way just to shop there) ;o)

    • Mind Margins/Run Nature

      I can tell you’re a badass yourself! I’m getting used to the changes at Sprouts (it used to be Sunflower), and they are very similar. It’s literally two blocks from my house, so I can’t complain. They’re also building a Trader Joe’s a few blocks away, so I’ll soon be in grocery store heaven!

  4. runwritelivelife

    That’s awesome! I’d call you a badass any day of the week. Even when I run 8-10 miles, I am surprised when people–usually non-runners–are surprised at the distance. In my head I’m thinking, “it’s ONLY 9 miles, how is that remotely impressive??”. Yet, they are impressed, and I feel somewhere on the outskirts of bad-assiness :0

    PS: I totally disagree with the “old lady” title.

    • Mind Margins/Run Nature

      You ARE a badass! I’ve seen you run and I can tell! Sometimes in my head I wonder what it would feel like to be Alyson Felix or Carmelita Jeter, sprinting down a track. I am so amazed by them. And let’s not forget our long distance ladies, Shalane and Kara, making those five minute miles look like jogging!

  5. AndrewGills

    That’s awesome ! Our summer here in Brisbane is about to start so I can totally relate to your words about the heat and humidity. How it’s already hot before the sun gets up and doesn’t cool down after sunset.

      • AndrewGills

        Yeah, Brisbane is subtropical while I think Texas might be more arid. I’m hoping to go to Houston next May for a work conference so I guess I’ll find out first hand what your climate is like. I’ll have to hit you up for recommendations on which trails to run if I get to go. 🙂

      • Mind Margins/Run Nature

        Dallas can be humid, but Houston even more so. I’m not familiar with trails in Houston, so I won’t be a good resource for you, but I do know they have an awesome running club there in the city. They could probably help you out.

  6. iRuniBreathe

    This is great! 20 miles is nothing to sneeze at, and you know it!
    I remember being asked how long I was running one weekend and I said about 30. I was asked if this was 30 min and I said no, 30 kms (almost 19 miles) and the look of shock also made me a little proud.

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