One Wheezing Woman, 1000 Smiles Saved

May 13, 2011 § 13 Comments

…and there I saw the alleviater of my anxiety, angst, and pain – a teacher slowly crawling through the hallway, one hand against a wall for support and the other on her cane. She took three steps, her feet barely leaving the ground, and stopped, sighing to herself while wearing a smile which made her soft wheeze seem less cringe-worthy. With one breath in, she moved forward three more steps and stopped to rest again.
I stood watching with two legs able, a runner’s proud cardiovascular system, and a nagging mind. The past three days left me with little sleep as my school work caught up to me and my training had taken a new turn – draining my energy but preparing me for my last weeks of competition before Districts. It’s times with little sleep and even less energy when negativity preys upon us, the weak.

The clouds seem a little darker, the cold air a little harsher, and the little things seem a whole lot bigger. That morning my backpack fell apart and with every paper that floated to the floor, their soft swaying motions mocking my already on edge state of mind, I fell further into a moment of… rage. And then I laughed and smiled. The truth is, it’s not that bad.

At least I could breathe and walk without a cane.

How often do we let our woes control our mind when instead we could smile and let the pain subside? Why not see the cloud and, instead of loathing the thought of rain, enjoy the thought of Spring flowers blossoming consequently? So many things in our lives are gifts and punishments depending on one’s perspective. Today, I choose to look at my world as one filled with gifts not punishments – and smile.

My calf pain? A sign that I will improve in my next race. My migraines? Proof that I  worked hard during a workout (albeit prepared rather poorly). My almost trip-and-fall down the staircase today? A reminder that I need to lighten up and laugh.

These experiences, whether they’re simple annoyances or aggravating pains from a workout are truly gifts which, when looked at as such, can aid you in getting through many obstacles. I understand that there are some things in life which should not be viewed as gifts, some events are far too serious to be viewed any differently –  Columbine comes to mind almost immediately.

But aside from such major events, what little things in your life are you fretting over that could be making your day instead of destroying it? Or in other words – what gifts have you received today?

The above piece I wrote a few weeks back and revisited today in a time of celebration. Since experiencing my run in with the aforementioned teacher, I have smiled countless times while I could have been frustrated  (hence the 1000 smiles) and I’m smiling again today for good reason.

Tomorrow (Friday) I will be on MSNCB somewhere between 11:30am and 12:00 pm EDT to be interviewed by none other than Thomas Roberts himself. You can say I’m beyond stoked and extremely grateful. I owe the people at Outsports, the Advocate, and all of the fantastic community members/readers a ginormous thank you! Your support made this happen and I am thankful, so very thankful. I hope you all enjoy a great start to your weekends and have a “Happy Friday!”


§ 13 Responses to One Wheezing Woman, 1000 Smiles Saved

  • gaydadtobe says:

    Can’t wait to see the segment tomorrow!

    My smile today was brought upon by pictures that I have never seen before of my husband as a young kid. We had a friend over, and we were looking through only a few. I insisted on going through them all. There was even one that I suggested he send to the blog “Born This Way.” He was so gay back then, and it’s nice to see not much has changed.

    • Craig says:

      Thanks Alan, and sounds like you had a great time! I have never heard of Born This Way before and I checked it out – they have some very amusing photos as well as some touching stories. Thanks for the link!

      Also – good luck on your upcoming debate, I can’t wait to read your blog post about how it goes!

  • tristram says:

    Craig – I’m so proud to be one of your virtual friends. I hope you can post a link to your MSNBC interview for those of us who will be working and unable to catch it live. Cheers!

    • Craig says:

      Hahah, thank you Tristram! I’ll posting a story on the interview with the embedded video come tomorrow! Hope you check it out and once again thanks for the support!!

  • Allison says:

    CJ (Still can’t call you Craig yet boo), I’m so proud of you and I’m so lucky we’re friends and I hope this stays true through college, and I will most definitely keep up with your amazing writing skills. Clearly we have lots to catch up on, so I expect many skype dates within the next few weeks because we have SO MUCH to talk about 🙂

    • Craig says:

      Hahah we need many many many skype dates to catch up on all that has occurred recently Allison – and I can’t wait to talk to you! We will stay friends no doubt and you can certainly expect a visit from me – and if you’re up for a visit to Georgetown I would love to have you try some famous cupcakes and go to the National Zoo (they have pandas!)

  • KT says:

    Congrats on the MSNBC interview! I will definitely check it out.

  • The Other Fred says:

    Kudos on a great MSNBC interview!

  • RS says:

    I don’t know if this is the right place for this particular message, but I came across your blog recently via the Advocate and have read everything you’ve written. I’m a (out) gay guy, same age as you (and not very far away, if I’ve ascertained correctly) and I absolutely love your writing and think you’re spot on. Congratulations and thank you for all the awesome work you’re doing. One person at a time, we’re making a difference.

    • Craig says:

      Thanks RS, it’s great to hear about another relatively local out gay guy – and I’m glad you really like the writing! Are you a Philadelphian too or more of a Pittsburgian?

  • AK says:

    Thought you’d like a read. Hopefully with some high profile advocates, things’ll get easier for everyone involved in sports =)

    • Craig says:

      Thanks AK! That’s a fantastic story and one I’m about to send some of my friends – one of my favorite part’s from it is when Dan Barry writes: “He wants to be a mentor to gay people who harbor doubts about a sports career, whether on the court or in the front office.”

      We need more people like him and what can I say other than reading this story brings a smile to my face! David Stern deserves a huge pat on the back right now!

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