5/3/2013 – Friday Night In China

May 9, 2013 admin News


Tonight was day 18 in a row.  5.1 miles was nothing miraculous, but I felt like a runner again.  Here is why.  I got to the front door of the building and it was raining a steady medium rain.  That didn’t phase me a bit.  In fact, I thought it might make my run easier and just keep me cooled off, and rinse of the sweat.

Niiiiice mental state Keller.  

I was very quickly reminded again of how I cherish the Chinese people (Zhongguoren.)  My friend Zhengyan, the gate guard, who always opens the gate for me as I approach leaving and returning so I can keep right on running, sees me and waves me into the guard shack.  Cool, I haven’t talked to him for awhile, and my Chinese is improving…AND, I am not shooting for any pace or time tonight, so a tiny break at the very start hurts nothing.  Well, yes he wanted to say “Hi,” but he also wanted to loan me his rain coat.  I thought it would never fit, and even protested saying “Tai xiao le!” (too small) but he insisted I try it on, and wouldn’t you know, he has a much larger coat than he needs, I guess to fit over uniforms, or whatever.  I have worn much LESS comfortable coats to run in (the Dirty Dog 10K Trail race way below zero C comes to mind)  So the gesture was touching and I would guess I floated through the first mile or two just on good will alone.

The thing is, I have a term I use for these random acts of kindness I witness (and try to emulate) here in China, and I call it Zhongguo Xin, or China heart.  People really care for one another over here in a genuine way.  It’s refreshing.

Oh, the run?  It was cool.  It rained every step of the way, and my mind slipped a little back into ultra runner mentality as I reveled in the fact that all the normal people I see out almost every night running at the same hour, were nowhere to be found.  I was the only one looney (sane?) enough to go out into the rain and enjoy the conditions.  When you give up detouring around the puddles, because your feet are going to get any wetter…and you just groove through the weather like it couldn’t touch you.

I felt GOOD.

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