Kindness is all. This is something I try to live by on a daily basis. After the horrific violence we have seen around the world this year I feel it is more important than ever to try to improve the lives of others whenever we can. Even in the smallest and seemingly most insignificant ways. On Saturday morning Leanne Davies founder of Run Mummy Run wrote a powerful and heartfelt post on this very subject (Following on from her passionate speech about the power of kindness at the RMR Retreat in July). Her post (quoted below) inspired me to think about what I could be doing to share some kindness?
Then this morning I came across this article from Women’s Running in America that looks at ways runners can ‘pay-it-forward’ in the running community. The article had a distinctly American slant but I think as a community of over 16,000 women there are many small acts of kindness we can perform that will help us to give something back to the rest of the running community.
I think as a community we are really fantastic at supporting and encouraging each other through tough times and good. We also celebrate everyone’s successes from someone’s very first run through to those running their 100th marathon. The recent partnership pilot with parkrun to provide parkrun buddies is another step forward with our kindness manifesto. This initiative will help encourage people to try parkrun by letting them have a friendly face to meet them. I know personally I would never have had the courage to attempt any of the races I’ve done had I not have found this group of wonderful women. So as runners what can we do to spread kindness….
Don’t underestimate how much a greeting from another runner can lift someone’s spirits. I was trudging my way through a rainy recovery run earlier this week when I spotted the fast group from a local running club doing hill reps. As I ran past they all without exception said hello and well done. I of course reciprocated and I continued on my run feeling happy and part of a wider community. No matter how awful you are feeling try to smile or say hello to other runners you meet. You might just change how they feel about their run.
Run Clubs and Groups
We often have women who are worried about joining a running club for a fear of being too slow and being left behind. Try sometimes being the person with the widest smile who genuinely welcomes this woman to your club and runs with her, taking an interest in her life and running and warmly congratulate her at the end of the run. We all have to start somewhere and just think how happy and encouraged the new runner will feel and how confident she’ll feel returning.
Start a group
Or perhaps you could do your Leadership in Running Fitness qualification and start a running group in your area to encourage more people to start running? Beginners are often motivated by a friendly group and by making a commitment to turn up to an organised session.
Lots of us love to race. Perhaps we can spread some kindness by volunteering to marshall at local races and at parkrun. We can still enjoy the excitement of race day and encourage fellow runners to achieve what they want to from their race.
Ultimately I think the greatest act of kindness we can give other runners is our smile. A smile can say so much, “hello fellow runner”, “Well done keep going”, “thank you for marshalling” and a happy runner is bound to attract more people to give it a try. As they say, “a smile is free but it’s worth a lot”.
“It is true to say that we as individuals cannot change the big things going on in our world today, however we can make one difference and that is to be kind. Random acts of kindness instill people’s belief in humanity, fill their hearts with warmth, make people smile and shows us that there is still so much good in our world. Let’s take our tears, sadness and upset for these things going on and make something positive happen. Next time a chance presents itself to perform a random act of kindness to a friend, family or stranger…….take it. Let’s send our ripples of kindness as far and as wide as we can.”
We can’t change the world but we can make a difference xxx
Who’s with us 💓
Leanne Davies: Creator and Founder