Humility and Thankfulness 

Though this isn’t a post about running it is a post about something that affected my weekend, something bigger than running. 

A huge opportunity opened up in my city. The fire department held an opened hiring, the only thing required was a high school diploma. This was the first time I can ever remember this happening. I decided to apply, why not I had nothing to lose. I have a beautiful family, I have a home and a vehicle, I have a job that pays well and I have my health which allows me to do the things I love. 

This opportunity for me would not make a huge difference in my life. It would represent a dream though. 

As part of the competition I wrote the exam this past weekend, myself and hundreds of others. It was here sitting awaiting the exam to start that a young gentleman struck up a conversation with me. 

I didn’t notice the guy until he started talking to me. I noticed that he looked like he attempted to put some effort into what he had worn here, that he was trying to make a first impression even though no one would know who he was prior to leaving. He was dressed in pants and a suit jacket, over dressed compared to the masses. 

He first asked me where I thought the new hires would be placed. “I wasn’t sure” I told him. He than made a statement about how awesome a job this would be to have, about how it would be nice to make such a good salary. I agreed with him. 

After these few minutes of small talk the exams were delivered. Rules were read, no talking, no looking at others, no using your cell phones. You have 2:30hours go! A few minutes into the exam I knew the guy was struggling. He was sighing and holding his head in his hands. This went on for the the 1:35hours it took me to write. As I sat there checking over my answers I glanced over to see how he was making out, he was on question 40. 40 out of 166 with only 55min left. I instantly felt horrible! As I’m getting up to leave I wanted to pat the guy on the back, give him some encouragement, I couldn’t. I’ve been thinking about this guy ever since! 

It’s true that I could be totally off on this guy, he may not be as he appeared. He may be in the same situation that I am, just out to write because he can. But from the few sentences that we spoke I got the sense that the guy had hopes and dreams riding on this test and I felt like for 1:35hours I got to hear every ounce of that dream being pulled from him. 

Within the next week when we hear about who passes and who moves on maybe neither one of us will get to advance in the process and that will be ok for me, I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing, and if I don’t get to move forward I’ll still come away with the lessons to remin humble, remain grounded and to always remain thankful for the things you have! 



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