Category Archives: The US

Exchange of pleasantries

My husband and I just came from a short trip visiting friends in the US. We spent a few days in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, a few days in Liberty Lake near Spokane, Washington, and a few hours in Montana. We had such a wonderful time. Hence, expect a number of my next posts to be about our recent visit.

Dear Lady in Pink,

I don’t know if you remember me, but I definitely remember you. We met briefly on the street Saturday, a week ago, somewhere in Liberty Lake. My run that morning was my last run before my husband and I headed back to Tokyo the next day after a short wonderful visit to the US. You were brisk walking in your bright pink shirt. You were across the road when I walked out of my friends’ front door. We were heading in the same direction although you were a few meters behind me. I started with a slow walk and you soon caught up.

“Good morning,” you said in a chirpy voice.

“Good morning,” I replied.

As you walked energetically past me, you said “You look like an athlete.”

I thanked you, but I don’t think my thanks conveyed how your words tickled me pink. I was so energized to run. In fact, this past week after coming back to Tokyo, I was able to run through jet lag because of what you said. My body wanted to prove you right.

I’m sure you have no idea what it means for someone who was once overweight, who once was not active in any sports, and who is now living with Type 2 diabetes, to be told that she looks like an athlete. I previously thought that I did not need any affirmation, especially from a stranger. But I was so wrong. Your affirmative observation made feel so good about myself.

I also felt that you did not greet me only out of politeness. You took the time to say something personal and meaningful to me, like you actually saw me and was glad with what you saw. I still replay your words in my mind.

My regret is that I did not return the favor. All I could think of was that I really liked your bright pink shirt, and that I was thinking of buying one for myself. I thought that sounded so petty next to your beautiful statement so I never voiced it out.

Your kind gesture touched me so much that I’m starting a new trend in my running community here. I resolve to greet other exercisers I meet during my runs, and hope that such a simple gesture can brighten up their day as your kind words brightened up mine.

Thank you.

Kind regards,