Stoppit Smith wrote:
Dear Ms. Kastor:
It is great to see that you are as personable as you seemed even in competition. Your work ethic is amazing.
My two questions are these:
1. As the Co-LR Top distance runner of all-time, how do you suggest other runners treat each other? I ask this because of the camaraderie that you seemed to have with so many runners at the elite level. It was pleasant to watch. It doesn't always seem that way at large. What is your expert advice?
2. What is your favorite encounter ever with a non-elite?
1) Well, I believe greatly in connection and compassion. As runners it is so great that we have each other to learn from, to encourage, and to grow with. I miss my Mammoth Track Club teammates so much right now, but I'm grateful for video calls and online platforms to help stay connected and inspired. And when others are nasty, it's usually because they are going through a rough time themselves. It's always better to uplift and inspire, then deflate or insult.
2) Oh geez. That is so hard. If you ask me another day, my answer might change, but the one that jumps out right now: I was giving a corporate speech, and when I stepped off the stage a man took me aside and in his business suit confided being in a really dark place mentally. He was in his mid thirties and said for the first time in his life, he felt purpose and control. He wrote notes from my talk, and told me that he was going to re-read the notes if he ever returned to that state. I think of him all the time, and hope he is okay. I also hope others in his place find purpose and joy and control and self-love....
He's also part of what inspired me to write Let Your Mind Run, my memoir, in order to reach out to more people and empower them with their own way of thinking. Sorry to get deep, but you asked.