Forgiveness isn’t my Strong Suit

I am not falling in love with running.

I thought maybe I would as I trained for this half marathon. I suppose I do enjoy that I can run five miles now pretty easily. I most likely will continue doing that as part of my fitness routine, but that’s pretty much it. Anything longer than that and I am fantasizing about stopping.

I guess it’s safe to say I’m not a long distance runner.

A couple of weeks ago, I was running early on a Saturday morning. I have discovered that listening to podcasts occupies my thoughts during long runs and helps. It doesn’t inspire record-breaking speeds but it keeps my feet moving and my mind off my misery.

So it’s Saturday, I’m running, I’ve got the podcast Entrepreneur On Fire in my ears. I can see a man running ahead in the distance but I know he’s slow because I’m gaining on him.

As I approach to pass, I can see he’s wearing earbuds listening to music, or maybe a podcast like me. He’s hogging the middle of the sidewalk but I don’t mind because I know he is unaware of my presence.

I decide to pass on his left and just as I do; one foot on the grass, the other on the sidewalk, he turns his head in my direction and does a snot rocket which hits my leg.

What’s that? You don’t know what a snot rocket is? Let me fill you in. Close one nostril with your finger, and blow hard out the other. No tissue required.

He realized what he’d done and even over my podcast I can hear him saying, “Omigosh I’m sorry!” But, I’m feeling slimed so I just keep running while at the same time trying to shake this goop off my leg.

Either I sped up or he slowed down because the gap between us grew quickly after that.

When I returned home to share this horror story with my family, their reactions were unanimous. “That poor guy! You didn’t say anything to him? He was probably so embarrassed!”

My defense was that HELLO! snot rocket to the leg! But they realize what I actually realize now that I’m not in the moment. The guy did this by accident and probably felt so awful.

My instincts don’t lean to forgiveness and grace though. My tendencies are toward justice and grudge. How can I change this? I am convinced this is my life’s work.

I know this is a challenge I am meant to overcome because I am continuously presented with opportunities to do so. I am working on that.

Meanwhile I’m still soaking my leg in bleach.

Originally published at on May 7, 2015.