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* Special thanks to Mike Fielding for the Operation "Caryn's Smiles" logo design!!

Operation "Caryn's Smiles" began...


17 Mar 2014

Yesterday was a deluge in Atlanta! I was depressed for several reasons. The biggest was I HAD to run (marathon a week away) and I did not want to run in cold, windy, rain. The second is I wanted to test out "Operation Caryn's Smiles" and this required other people to be at the track as well. I thought that was highly unlikely in the rain.

​However, around 1 the rain stopped and I headed out to the track for my last long run before the marathon. As expected there were few people there in the beginning. As the miles added up people started to arrive. And, my heart lit up around mile 8.5 when I saw her...It was clear she was new to this exercise thing and new to running. As she first walked on the track I smiled a big smile and said hello...and kept running. I watched her run/walk around the track and finally stop running with a look of exhaustion. It was now or I sped up a little to reach her and patted her on the arm.I stopped running and walked beside her and told her she was doing "Awesome!!"

She said, "Really? I don't feel like it!"

I told her, "You look great! It is a humid day and not easy and you are rocking it."

She let out a huge smile and said, "Thanks!"

I told her to keep it up and not give up. I told her that it makes my heart happy to see new runners and she was an inspiration to me!

She looked shocked! She looked down and said, "I was getting discouraged watching all of these people pass me."

We talked a little about how much more energy it takes when we weigh more and that instead of her thinking of speed she should focus on small achievable goals and then slowly increase them over time. I shared with her my light post method (run from one to the next and then walk, repeat). I shared how it makes it easier seeing the goal right in front of her and that she could slowly build up to two light posts and then three.

I told her I had to get back on the run but that I was cheering for her. 

She said, "Thank you. You made my day!" A quick high five and I was off.

I am pretty sure she made my day at least as much as I made hers.

​Where does this come from? Those post floating around about overweight people running, doing races, etc. have raised up varied responses from friends. Caryn read one I shared and she said she wished if people were giving mental high fives that they would stop and actually talk to the person and give them real encouragement. So, in honor of Caryn I decided to start my own mini mission to encourage the newbies on my track. One down...more to go. Smile as you rock your bad self Caryn!
So, Operation "Caryn's Smiles" is our personal mission to show people the joy in exercise.  

To use smiles to encourage others.  

To open the community to EVERYONE!  

One smile at a time we hope to encourage "newbies" to be brave and find their own internal BADASS!

How can you help? Take the Caryn's Smiles Pledge and be a part of the movement!

 Operation "Caryn's Smiles"