Friday, April 17, 2009

It's a small world

Last night I ventured out for an easy run after work. Evening runs never seem to feel as good as morning ones and along with my exaggerated senses I also have an exaggerated workouts. When I'm tired I feel very tired and want to just stop. When I'm feeling good I seem to be at the same place I was in December and feel very confident. Yesterday afternoon I was feeling like I'd been stuffed for days and wasn't too confident about my run but in typical fashion I got myself ready and started to run.

As I hit the trail I saw an old co-worker from Samsung coming from the opposite direction. Without a moment of hesitation I u-turned to his direction and began to run with him, asking where he was going. He'd just started and was doing a few miles, "You'll have to slow down a lot to run with me," he said.

"No worries, I'm not in a rush. I'm pregnant so I'm just out to enjoy myself."

"Wow, congratulations but now you're going to make me run harder than I want too. I can deal with getting dropped by a girl but I'm not sure about a pregnant girl."

I continued along with him and enjoyed the run a lot more than I thought I would when I'd left the shop. I've had a few workouts like that lately, ones where I really appreciate the company of my friends and I'm glad to have the flexibility to do whatever I want for a while.

Although this friend only runs a couple times a week and I've never seen him running before, that's not where the title of the blog is from. The title of this blog post is based on how I met this friend for the first time. Seeing him yesterday reminded me of the story...

After I graduated from CMU, Michael & I took a to Italy, before I had to start working. Near the end of the trip we had to change trains in Pisa, en route to Chinque Terra. I'd heard from a friend's father that Pisa was only worth a quick visit to see the Leaning Tower.

When we hopped off our first train we didn't see a sign for the bus station and I began to think how nice it would be to spot someone to ask. At that moment I spotted a group of guys a few feet away, one of them was a 6'4" blond guy wearing a UT shirt, 'Bingo'. I walked over and asked if he knew where to catch the bus to the tower.

"No hablo Ingles."
"Yeah right, you're wearing a UT shirt," I replied.
"Oh. Just head out to the left and you'll see signs. You need to get the #6 bus. Here's a couple of tickets. We bought them but the bus driver never checked."

Perfect, we were quickly on our way to the bus, hopped on just as one was leaving, and made our way to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. We took some pictures, read about the architecture issues of the building and hopped on a bus back to the train station.

We arrived back at the train station minutes before the next train was leaving and quickly bought a couple of tickets. Unfortunately, we had a lot of trouble finding any seats. I finally spotted 2, across from the big blond guy who'd given me directions to the bus. That humored me quite a bit, we had been so quick that we'd actually caught the same train we would've been on even if we'd skipped seeing the tower. So we would get to Cinque Terra before sunset and have time to find a place to stay and a place for dinner.

We sat down with the guys and began to talk. Not only did they just graduate from UT and live in Austin, the tall blond guy was about to start working with me at Samsung when we got back to the States. Wow, how's that for a small world.

But the most memorable part of the day was when they asked us if we were married or engaged. "No, we're going to wait a while," I told them. This was my way of regurgitating the comment Michael had told me a few months before. I had no idea what was really going on in his head. Later that night he proposed to me while we ate dinner at a restaurant in Cinque Terra.

As you now know, I met this friend on one of the most memorable days of my life and will probably never forget that story. You never know who you might meet on any given day or what small favor might lead to the most wonderful day that person could ever imagine.


As a side note, this friend of mine is the race director for the Bun Run on May 3rd. If you haven't already signed up you can visit them at


meredith said...

Great Story :)