Goin' on a walk (wish it wasn't so hot)Our driveway is one mile from the front of our subdivision, a hilly two mile walk there and back. I’m trying to get in shape and lose some weight, but my natural instinct is to resist moving outside of comfortable. This June in Georgia is no place to find comfortable. It’s early next week before we’ll have a day with a high that dips below the 90s.

This morning I plugged the headphones in my ears and hit the sidewalk while most of my crew were still dreaming in their beds. On my way home a lady slowed down beside me, rolled down her window, waved and yelled, “Woo hoo! Go girl!”

This started as a mother/daughter walk, but one of us seems to be lying on the ground by the sidewalk...

Her timing was perfect: the start of the last half mile, a hill that feels like it’s straight up and never going to end. I usually hang my head and stare at the sidewalk, afraid to look up as my muscles burn.

Today I had chills up and down my arms and legs in spite of the sweat trickling down my back as I looked up, eyes on the prize, motivated by those four little words.

It’s hard to describe how powerful that spoken encouragement was, from a total stranger no less. This mystery neighbor didn’t offer me a drink of water or a moment to rest and catch my breath: nothing physical. She gave me an “atta girl!”—a sweet gift that said, “You’re doing something hard that you’re probably not enjoying. Keep it up.”

At least that’s what I heard.

We’ve all got the power to be a cheerleader to those around us, an encourager to friend or stranger alike. Embracing that mission and following through with it is the challenge. Join me?

{Instagrammed photo on bottom from a walk with my daughter where she balked at the bottom of that hill.}

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