Monday, February 21, 2011

Good Enough to Do Good

We are good enough to do good in the world NOW! We don't have to wait to be the best at something, have enough money, or possess some wonderful talent to reach out and help others.

I've mentioned that I've done a few triathlons (swim-bike-run). In one of my posts I eluded to a person being one of the very last out of the water during a tri; that was me, in case you didn't catch that. I don't really know how to swim. Sure, I can stay afloat and move my body through the water, but it's not with any grace, that's fo' sho'. I don't know any real strokes. But, sure, sign me up for a triathlon in open water with hundreds of other swimmers splashing around me! It's scary and I am s-l-o-w. The bike portion isn't all that awesome either. AND I'm not a very fast runner. But slow and steady wins....errr *ahem* scratch that...finishes the race in a sweaty heap. But the point is that I finished, darn it!

I have a story to share from one of my triathlons. This is taken from my personal blog right after it happened:

I was coming to the last portion of the race and way ahead I saw this guy walking. My first thought was, "Good. Someone to pass." I'm kind of competitive but not super fast, so when I see that I can pass someone, that gives me a little adrenaline kick and some sort of thrill. I know, not very nice. There was another group of girls that were running slower and I had just passed them. We were coming into the home stretch. I was coming up on this guy who I had seen walking for quite some time and just as I passed him I touched his arm and said, "Run!" I don't know what surprised me more - that I said it or that he actually responded. He immediately started running alongside me. As we were running I said, "You push me and I'll push you." He sounded desperate and on the verge of tears and said, "I'm trying!" "You're doing great! Just keep going," I said. I have to tell you that I felt electrified from my head to my toes. Literally. It was physical. I felt so proud of this man I did not know. I was pulling for him and suddenly didn't care about my own race anymore. I wanted him to feel great about his finish. I was on the verge of tears myself, but for a different reason. The end of a race always feels emotional to me and this was adding a different element to that emotion. He gasped, "How much longer?!" I told him that we were almost there, it couldn't be more than .2 miles. Suddenly we came around a corner and there was the finish line, lined with people cheering. I said, "Come on!" and we kicked it up and ran our hearts out to the finish. I heard his wife or some lady cheering for him as we were reaching the finish line.He and I didn't talk afterward (like either of us could talk at that point), but it was a really cool experience for me. All I could think about for the rest of the day was how good it felt to help someone else to the finish line. It was a different kind of feeling at the finish than I've ever had before. I'm tearing up just typing this out and thinking about it.

I was not the best triathlete, but I think I made a tiny difference in how this man felt about how he finished. And it was my best experience yet. Taking the focus off of my finish time made it so much more enjoyable! In subsequent races I have been the one lifted by a word of encouragement from a fellow runner at the time I most needed it. Sometimes we do the lifting and sometimes we are the ones who need the lift. That's true of all service, isn't it?

Focusing on others can make a world of difference in how we feel about our particular "race". So I encourage you to just ACT. If you have the thought to do something for someone, just do it. You may not know how it will affect their life, but it will affect you for the better. Guaranteed. Don't wait to have more or to be more, you are ENOUGH to make a difference now.


  1. Thanks for this Dana~I had read it before, but in this context it really helps inspire me to do good today.

  2. I love that story it is so inspiring to me. As I read the last paragraph I thought of the wonderful but small experience I had yesterday. I just left to head somewhere and I decided to call home and tell Jared something and while on the phone my little Ian wanted to talk to me. He gets on the phone and is crying he was so sad because I forgot to give him a hug and a kiss before I left. I felt that I needed to turn around and give him some love. I saw his sad little face as he came running out to me. I picked him up and gave him a big hug and kiss and told him I Love you, then carried him back inside. Normally I would have kept driving so I could get where I was going and I was half way there. But I really felt the need to make that little boy happy which made me so happy. I am grateful for that experience so that I can remember to just take a few moments to remember the little ones in our lives and what means so much to them. The small and simple things.

  3. Danalin-Some how I came across your blog and I couldn't believe it was the same Danalin I knew from ages ago. We barely knew each other but your sweet, bubbly personality made an impression on me and so has your blog. It's such a joy to read and so inspirational! Thanks for sharing!
    Jeannine (Alba) Copeland-if you don't remember me, just ask Nate. Hope this doesn't seem totally weird! :)
    my email:

  4. The lesson I learned from watching my parents was to serve, lift, love, teach others in need and the miracle I saw unfold time after time, was that our own, unmet needs, were met. I love your story about the race. As you helped him finish, your pain in finishing was swallowed up in helping him to his glory of finishing. Eternity won't be much fun alone, but it will be WONDERFUL together. The more we lift, love, push and encourage one another, walking beside, taking a hand to guid, or just make a meal to make the day a little simpler... we will all make it, and find more joy in the process!