Yesterday I went for my post-work run and as I was about to start, a Girls High School Cross Country meet was just wrapping up. Just as I hit the trail, there was one last runner. But she wasn't running. I asked her if she was ok, and she said, "No. I'm so tired." I gave her a word of encouragement and figured that was it.
But then she said, "Will you help me?" I said I would and she reached out for my hand. So we ran together. She would run, then have to walk. She would link arms with me, and kept thanking me. I kept encouraging her to hang in there.
I thought what she did was really brave. She was going to finish last, but she didn't quit. But even more importantly, she was willing to be vulnerable, and to a stranger no less. I wasn't a coach, or a race official, or even a parent of a teammate, just an older white guy. But she had the courage to ask for help. I applaud that. And I thank this young woman, for giving me the opportunity to help her.