I have seen this woman walking ALL OVER town for years and years. My friends and I actually talk about her and the places we have seen her power-walking: along the country roads, down the highway, in-town, in blistering heat or in snow flurries or in a torrential downpour. No matter, she is OUT THERE. But I'd never been this close to our pretty-much-local-celebrity until today. Here's what happened:
As I was walking with my Doodle down the trail that is parallel to the highway, I first spied her trademark purple running shorts then her characteristically-tight swivel-walk coming toward me. I think I quickly glanced heavenward and said "thank you", knowing for sure that Heavenly Father HAD hand-picked something super-duper inspirational just for me today.
As we approached one another, we made eye contact and I was just WISHING for an excuse to stop this amazing woman and talk to her. Imagine my surprise when she smiled, stopped, glanced at her watch, and started small-talking to ME.
She: "Isn't it a perfect morning to be out walking?" (with a big, huge smile on her face)
I: "Oh, it is, and IknowthissoundsweirdbutwouldtherebeanywayIcouldsnapyourpicture?Youhavebeensoinspiringtomeforsomanyyears...?!"
She: (chuckle) "Sure!"
And so I did indeed snap her photo -- and the Doodle's, but I hadn't even noticed him in the frame. Then I started firing questions at her. Here is what I learned:
*Her name is Diana.Diana is a rockstar. Seriously.
*She walks five days a week. Every week.
*She especially loves to walk in the rain, and never lets weather of any kind stop her.
*Today she is walking 20 miles because she is training for the speed-walking division of the Portland Marathon. (Her third marathon.)
*Her husband dropped her off, will go get coffee and run errands, go home and work in the yard, then see her in a few hours.
*Her husband likes to walk on the treadmill. ("Can you believe it? I love the fresh air!")
*She likes this particular route because there are lots of places to take water breaks.
*She started power-walking when she was 40. (My guess is that she is now 80+)
*She carries something in a little zipped pouch attached to her shoelaces. (keys? money? treats?!)
*She has a can of mace strapped next to the bandana at her waist.
*Her visor keeps the rain and sun off her face.
*She wears lipstick when she walks. (How much do I LOVE this??)
*She has a day's water in her backpack.
Which leads me to THIS sign that I passed this morning, just minutes before I met her:
Yep, I'm telling you, when I open my eyes and actually see, God has placed inspiration all around me. No excuses!