The power of a smile1

The first time I ever did seven miles, I was running alone in Flushing Meadow Park. After three or four miles an old man who was also running saw me and gave me a smile. There was such power in his smile that I went practically half a mile without feeling any pain, just joy.

Then, when I was coming back after having completed six miles, I was breathing heavily: "Ahh, ahh." An old, fat lady who was waiting for the bus saw me and started imitating me in a joking way: "Ahh, ahh." In silence I was saying, "Oh, if you had run six miles!"

The man was so nice and the lady was so bad!


  1. RB 4. 5 December 1978