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.
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 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons