I was out for a walk this morning when I spotted a runner coming towards me on the same path. I shortened the lead and made sure my dog was on the same side of the path as me to leave space for the runner.
She was a natural, and was moving at a decent pace seemingly effortlessly. Then, as she passed, she smiled and said ‘Good morning’. And I realised who it was.
One of my heroes from my time growing up in the nineties. One of the few Irish sportspeople in history who you could legitimately call world-class. Especially when she competed in a genuinely worldwide sport. And she was so human behind it all.
Sonia O’Sullivan. And if I’m honest, my heart jumped a bit. And when it settled I thought of all the things I should have called to her as she ran by.
‘Thanks for all the memories’.
‘You were unreal in Sydney‘!
But I was too late. She was gone. And while I’m sure many people have said nice things to her over the years, I felt it important that I say my bit. Because she brought joy and excitement to my life for the best part of 10 years.
I have had this experience before. Not with Sonia necessarily, but with others – thinking of something I should have said after the event. I’m sure many readers have too. But the thing is, just because we miss one chance doesn’t mean we can’t go out of our way to say it again.
Because if a compliment is genuine it’s always worth saying.