I see you.

It doesn’t take going on many running adventures to realize runners have their own top secret language. If you’re around a runner for more than 5 minutes you’re bound to hear some crazy jargon: fartlek, PR, 5k, bonk, goo, onomatopoeia(?). If I were to create another blog it would be focused on working out. I would write about and all the humorous situations and different jargon that is specific to each sport. Too bad one of my closest friends Spencer Cope beat me to it (After all…If you’re not an Ironman, you’re not an Ironman).

One of my favorite things about running is a little something I like to call the I see you wave. This is the little wave that athletes trade as they cross paths on the road (usually paired with a simultaneous head nod). The wave is typically a mixture of acknowledgement and encouragement. I’ve discovered this wave can be versatile and mean any of the following:

  • I see you and I like your Oakleys.”
  • I see you and you’re struggling? Okay good that makes two of us.”
  • I see you and I respect that you’re out here”
  • I see you and I can tell you’re working hard”
  • I see you and I have those Nike shorts”
  • I see you keep up the good work”
  • I see you and your hard work encourages me to work harder”

I can’t help but wonder what it would look like if we transfered this wave into everyday situations. Could we create a secret wave for when we see a person doing something we like or respect? For example, what if I see someone at Panera reading a book I’ve read? What can I do when I see an older woman investing in and discipling a group of high school girls at Starbucks? How do I acknowledge the guy who picks up trash at the park? What about when I am serving tables and one guy in a group of ten encourages his friends to stop drinking because they all have to drive home?

Is there some sort of wave or head nod that I can pass just to say I see you?

I don’t know of any secret waves or head nods I can use to say I see you, so this blog post will have to do.

I see you…

  • I see you being an awesome dad and leading your family well.
  • I see you being a great friend and investing in others.
  • I see you caring for the least of these.
  • I see you celebrating and loving high school students even when it’s uncomfortable, difficult, and you are busy.
  • I see you temporarily setting aside your personal dreams to be a fulltime mom (and you’re incredible at it by the way).
  • I see you consistently choosing others over yourself.
  • I see you setting your fears aside to be a part of something that matters in your community.

Even if it seems like no one is noticing…I see you.

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6 thoughts on “I see you.

  1. I see you working your butt off to foster a place where people can come to be a part of a community and share stories with each other.

  2. I see you saying something and I like it.

    I think there’s so much more to “seeing” than acknowledgement. I think “seeing” also allows for a genuine visceral perception. It’s one thing to view something (e.g. a landscape, a game-winning shot, or even a surprise birthday party reaction). It’s a completely different thing to perceive what you’re viewing. Different from “seeing” or viewing, perception requires some discernment on behalf of the viewer. Perceiving an event or an individual (or even a hill while on run) requires a level of understanding and awareness. I think when we push ourselves to “perceive” instead of “see”, we choose to take part. We jump in. And, ultimately, we participate more fully and genuinely in our own lives and the lives of our friends/family/community members.

    • Hmm, I like this thought. I looked back at my own examples in this post and you’re right, they all take perception not simply seeing. In addition to this they all lead to me wanting to be a part of whats going on.

      I think we see so many people around us living life and interacting with others. When we move to really perceiving how they live, interact, lead, love, etc..we are able to learn from them and join them.

      The questions I am left with are:
      -Are we seeing?
      OR
      -Are we perceiving?

      Then…
      -Are we learning from what we see?
      -Are we doing something worth being seen (or perceived)?

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