A Tied-y Run (A #1000Speak for Compassion post)

I want you to think back to the last time you did some exercise outdoors, especially if you’re a runner. Do you remember the mood of the sky above you? The weather surrounding you? The people who were out there in the elements with you? Do you remember feeling your muscles warm up and your skin begin to dampen with effort? Do you recall the rush as you triumphed over tired muscles and the desire to quit? Did you feel GREAT afterwards?

Now imagine where you were when you were exercising.

Bring to mind the scenery you passed by. The faces of others as their lives continued parallel to yours. Were there any signs of nature? Did you register the way the light and colour and shadow of your surroundings could be familiar right up to the point where you thought about it, and noticed, and how your mind could get caught on tiny things like a dog chasing a ball, or a child doing something silly, or a situation which had been mulling over in your brain?

Now close your eyes, and imagine your world without that exercise, because you’re blind, and it wouldn’t be safe or possible.

I tried it tonight, cycling home quite late, on an empty road, and I was scared. I could only keep my eyes shut for a few seconds at a time because as soon as I closed them, in my mind’s eye, the road shrunk around me and my wheel turned itself to aim at the next possible hazard, and cars suddenly appeared from nowhere and were about to run me over…it was horrible.

Try it, next time you’re (safe to, whilst) exercising. See how different the experience.

You wouldn’t be able to keep it up, I suspect. I know I couldn’t.

We would miss the change in seasons, from skin crisping in the summer sun, through the gentle tang of woodsmoke getting caught in our hair, to the crunch of frost underfoot, to the soft, insistent rain bringing forth new life from the soil which smells of growing things. We would miss the camaraderie of others who exercise alongside us. We would miss the familiar sights along our route, which let us know we’re nearly there.

Our muscles would be wasted.


Or we might be fortunate enough to have a friend like the one I saw recently.

I was cycling to boxing one evening, across a large park in my city called The Common (formerly common grazing ground, now dedicated to green space, woods, lakes and leisure) and I saw a torch flashing up ahead. Nothing unusual about that – there are often nutters runners who prefer to go in the dark. More space, perhaps.

As I pedalled closer, out of the night appeared not one, but TWO runners.

Two men, both in full running gear, tied together with a rope loosely looped around the wrists of the hands nearest each other.

And the guy with the torch, waving it so he could see, was calling out the bumps and curves of the pathway to his friend, to whom the lack of light didn’t matter, because his world is likely always dark.


I am thrilled and astonished to find myself at the hub of the movement ‘1000 Voices for Compassion’. I’m going to run a series of posts in the run-up to The Big Day, whenever I see an example of compassion in action, and I’m going to share it with you.Partly because compassion takes all forms, but all forms of compassion are active, and partly because even if they never know it, the people who I feature are worthy of lauding.

Join us on twitter, using the hashtag #1000Speak

Join us on Facebook, in the group where we’re prepping everything ready to happen HUGE on 20/02

Join us over at the 1000Speak blog, where you can submit your own stories for publication on that date if you’re not a blogger or you don’t want the piece on your site.

Join your voice to ours, in whatever way.

Together we’re stronger.

34 thoughts on “A Tied-y Run (A #1000Speak for Compassion post)

  1. Pingback: Wordless(mostly) Wednesday: A reminder | chronicallysickmanicmother

  2. Pingback: 1000 Voices for Compassion: Bloggers unite on Feb. 20th! | The Psych Scrivener

  3. I had a friend who got about on a tandem, with a sighted person on the front. She was wonderfully brave: she had gone potholing. I loved guiding her, linking arms: I loved the trust, the physical contact, the communication.

    Liked by 1 person

    • WOW! Potholing is scary at the best of times! There must have been IMMENSE trust between the two of you. My goodness – what a truly glorious friendship that not only would you do that willingly, but with enjoyment and fun πŸ™‚ I love it. That’s an amazing thing to hear about – thank you for sharing it πŸ™‚


    • Are you in it with us? It was really Yvonne who started it, but she attributes the inspiration to me, which is pretty cool πŸ™‚ You’d be very very welcome to join us if you’re not there already πŸ™‚


  4. I used to run like that when I was in school, for gym class. A friend is there to help point out any bumps or holes in my path. Running is a great metaphor for the bumps and holes we all encounter throughout life. I am thankful for the compassion of so many along my journey. I am not a big runner, but I do like that there was an actual light, a torch, in the situation you witnessed. I am sure the man who couldn’t see was still able to notice his surroundings through the rest of his senses, making it all the more worth it and having a friend to experience it all with. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think that’s so important. I’m sure it would be easy enough to stick a blind or partially-sighted person on a running machine in a gym, nice and safe, and let them go for it, but they’d be missing SO MUCH…and yes – the sounds and scents and feels which are Out There, are so good, and it would suck not to have them. I was just so glad that apart from seeing, this chap was enabling his friend to have the full experience of running.

      And yes – I hadn’t thought of it as a metaphor for life or friendship, but you’re absolutely right, and it works wonderfully as an image πŸ™‚ Thank you for that insight.

      I’m glad you had people who ran like this with you πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for bringing the movement to my attention. I spend most of my time doing things for others because I believe that we are all here to help one another be the best person we can be.

    If you don’t mind I would like to highlight your blog and posts for my Blog Stalking event this Saturday.


    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a beautiful experience to behold. You know, Lizzi, when you (and me and others) are compassionate and loving, you open yourself up to see the wonders of compassion working in the world around you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you might be right…I got told today that someone had ‘pegged’ me as a ‘seer’ of things (as in, someone who notices them, rather than just looks (I think there’s a difference)) and that was pretty cool…I like noticing compassion in others, and I really feel the need to see it happen as often and as widespread as possible.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Show Compassion – Save A Teddy Bear | Right Ink On The Wall

  8. Pingback: Show Compassion – Save a Teddy Bear | Sara Litchfield

  9. Yay!! I love reading of things like these. Thank you for sharing something beautiful, Lizzi, as you nearly always do. I prayed for beautiful today. And that prayer was Just answered.

    With heart,

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow! I used to work for a blind man. He didn’t run, but he did climb up ON TOP OF A GRAND PIANO when he was on stage at concerts and sing part of a song, then climb down, unassisted. Scared the crap out of me every time I saw him do it.

    Liked by 1 person

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