6 quarters, 30 dimes, 13 nickels, 125 pennies and 3 dollar bills.
Shortly after I started this blog I got an email from my Aunt Mary, my mom's younger sister. She shared with me that my beloved grandpa, lovingly referred to as Poppy, always stopped to pick up a penny on the pavement with the comment that people are lazy if they wouldn't bend over to pick up a penny. She said there may have been more to the story but it was her childhood memory, so every time she spied a penny, she would pick it up and think of Poppy, and if she didn't pick it up, she'd apologize to him.
I didn't know this about my Poppy when I started to pick up loose change while out running but I thought about it often as I would bend down mid-run to grab a coin. It wasn't always effortless either. On my long training runs stopping at mile 16 to pick up a coin usually involved a grunt, moan, or other such verbal resistance. It wasn't always easy on the body, but it was harder to let it pass by.
At the beginning of 2015 I decided it would be the year to actually keep track of all the found change and add it up once the year was done. Little by little the baggie marked 2015 found change filled up.
6 quarters, 30 dimes, 13 nickels, 125 pennies and 3 dollar bills equals $9.40.
In 186 runs, covering 984.53 miles I found $9.40.
I also found strength I didn't know I had, I found healing, I found a competitive side of myself that is so very new to me, I found courage, I found a sense of pride, and connection, and I found hope. I found change.
Mile by mile, penny by penny, dime after nickel. It all adds up and eventually, it will make a difference.
You just can't be lazy.