There is one part of my trip to Virginia that I have failed to tell. Well, on my trip I met a man, his name is Augustin ( Pronounced Ah-Gu-Steen) or "Gus" for short. He is originally from Colombia, he is 73 and he runs like the energizer bunny.
I got the privilege of meeting Gus while out on a run one day. He ran towards me with his arms flailing wildly from side to side in a "your hair is on fire" like fashion. I wasn't sure if he was an old folks home escapee, a grumpy old man who hates runners, or just an old creeper. <--- I still have some suspicions about this one.
After he waved me down with his fire arms he asked me where I was from and was hoping I was from around there because he had seen me running and was intrigued. He said in his Columbian accent "I told my wife Mimi oh I see her running everyday I would like to meet her, Oh she runs so beautifully. I am a runner too!" This man had so much energy that not even his speech could be slowed down. He talked a mile a minute, but I didn't mind it made me smile.
Gus continued to make me smile throughout my stay in Virginia. Everyday he would wave me down with his flailing limbs and ask me questions about running. He would refer to me as "the professional". Telling him what the best types of socks to wear for running doesn't quite qualify me as being a professional by any means but he thought I was quite the running guru. He would follow me home like a lost puppy sometimes and one day he had me teach him how to use his Garmin Forunner 305 ( the watch that tells you how far you run, and your pace ) only to turn it on and find out his last run was 17 miles.
"Gus, was this your last run?"
"Oh, yes I used it few weeks ago I could run for hours ya know?"
This is Gus and I after I taught him how to use his Garmin. I was super sweaty...but he didn't care. The grossest part is that this is the shirt I changed into AFTER running. Imagine what my running shirt looked like.
I can only dream to be as healthy and in as good of shape as Gus when I am 73. Not only was he in great physical shape, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. He said something to me that I will never forget. Not only did he call me a professional, but he told me I was beautiful. I know, this seems creepy to the outsiders perspective but if you met Gus it would sound a little more normal. ( Maria is the only one that met him ). Anyways...
I have never in my life seen myself as beautiful. Nor do I now, but I have never had anyone say these words to me with such sincerity. He continued on to tell me such uplifting words and always ended it with "don't change, don't change a thing." His words were so positive and sincere that a lump started to form in my throat. My normal thought process would first think "Yea right", "your full of sh*t", or "what do you want", but Gus had no reason to lie to me. He wasn't family so he was not obligated to make sure that my feelings were not hurt, he was not my husband so he didn't have to pretend he thought I was pretty...and the word beautiful is definitely out of my league. I just couldn't get passed his sincerity and for a moment, I felt beautiful, which is a feeling I NEVER feel, nor am I sure I will ever feel it again.
I can only hope that I can learn to have the positive outlook on life that Gus has, and to hold onto it in my old age. I think God introduced me to him for a reason. Maybe this will be my life's "Aha" Moment. Thanks Gus.
Who is the Gus in your life?