This is another story that is starting as a runner story but has evolved to teach me so many lessons.
In our running club we have a coloured family – Dad and son both run and they have joined us on our time trails and club runs quite often. They are some of the loveliest people in the club and my admiration for them grows more and more everyday.
The dad was an alcoholic but has been clean and sober for more than 5 years now – the joy he gets out of life shines in his eyes and his voice – he has 5 kids – ranging from about 22 to a toddler but he loves them all with all his heart.
And then the son – the most gorgeous boy with green eyes like glass. Full of tattoos but each and every tattoo is to commemorate something – a picture of his dad’s face on his bicep, his child’s name and birth date and his family name. He is 22 but so responsible, with a vast knowledge of all things running. He works in a running shoe shop and we buy all our running shoes from him.
He has been stopped by the police on numerous occasions because of his tattoos – even when he goes out for a run the police will stop him to question him. However this does not make him bitter but just more determined to change the attitudes of the community.
They live in a historically coloured neighbourhood in our town. A neighbourhood where guns, gangs, violence, drugs and alcohol are rife. This young man has now decided that the way to curb problems in his hood is to get people to exercise. He has now organised various running related activities – including a family night on Wednesdays where the whole family can come and exercise and enjoy some quality time together. He is has organised personal trainers once a month and he doing all of this without any money and no compensation at all and not a lot of support.
Just the fire in his heart to better his community. He asks R5 per person per night, just to have lights for the people to be able to see what they are doing.
How amazing that a young man can organise something like that and have so much passion and drive at the age of 22.
Hats off to dad and son for being such amazingly beautiful people with such big caring hearts. You are role models to all our selfish runners.