Let me share a theory I have: While on a run, if you don't stop to pick up the first change you see on the road--be it a penny, nickel, dime, or quarter--you won't find anymore money on that run. But if you bend down to pick the coin up, you'll find more moola on that outing. Several months ago, I shared my hypothesis with my good pal Molly, as she's as thrifty as I am. Since then, Molly stops every time she spies change glinting on the pavement.
With this mindset in place, Molly and I set out to run nine miles together last Thursday. Conversation flowed as freely as sweat, with me talking about the nifty art camp my kids were attending that week and her telling recent work tales (she's a vet). Just past Mile 6, as we skirted around a conifer-dotted park, Molly screamed out, "Oooh, money!" as she simultaneously bent over to grab a penny off the ground. Before she'd even fully stood up, I spied a shiny dime a few feet away--sensing that Molly had just spotted it as well. Making an agile move that rivaled any I witnessed by an Olympic athlete over the weekend, Molly cut in front of me, diving to snatch the dime. Then, unbelievably, she shrieked, "Another penny!" and made a cat-like jump to the left to nab it.
It all happened in just a few blinks of the eye--and it made us dissolve into peals of laughter. We doubled over with belly laughs, working abs better than any core exercises. A block after we finally started running again, we past two blondes dressed in yoga apparel. One asked us if everything was okay; they'd heard us shrieking down along the edge of the park. We assured them all was well, telling them about Molly's money-grabbing prowess. Then we asked them what any self-respecting runner-blogger would do: "Can you take a photo of us with your iPhone and email it to me?"
But, wait, the story hasn't reached its conclusion yet. About a mile later, during a rare lull in the conversation, I thought back to the dime-dash, and I started laughing all over again. But before I could even get out a full, "That was so hilarious..." Molly squealed again as she squated down to pick up yet another penny! We burst out laughing again, and then...she saw another copper glint and grabbed one more penny off the pavement. Cha-ching: 14 cents!
The cheapskate in me felt a twinge of regret, but just as quickly decided, "Nah, it's good I didn't find the money; it makes a better story that Molly found it."
Don't you agree?