A Small Act of Kindness Can Bring Massive Joy And Happiness To Others.

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A Small Act of Kindness Can Bring Massive Joy And Happiness To Others.

I recently hiked the last 115 km/72 miles of the Camino de Sanitago in Spain with my son, Riley.  This adventure was filled with many memories that Riley and I will cherish for the rest of our lives.  Along this 6-day journey we learned many lessons that I promised I would share and expand on in the coming week’s blog.  Last week’s blog titled: Leadership Lessons from the Camino de Santiago touched on the list of lessons.  In the coming week’s blogs, I will expand on each lesson sharing some of our most memorable stories from our journey.

This week’s lesson:

A Small Act of Kindness Can Bring Massive Joy And Happiness To Others.

 In 2019, Riley and I decided together that we would hike the Camino together the next time we went to Spain.  We decided this because he saw how much fun I had hiking this very same section of the trail during the summer of 2019.  Upon my return, I shared stories of the beauty, the nature, the peace and tranquility, the amazing food, and the wonderful people I experienced along the way.

Upon my return I also shared the massive amount of physical pain I had experienced during every single step of the Camino (close to 200,000 of them). After the first day of hiking, my right knee felt like somebody was stabbing it every time I took a step. Then the pain transferred to my left knee. As much fun and joy I experienced hiking the Camino in 2019, the excruciating physical pain that accompanied the journey was almost overwhelming, and clouded the experience.

As I prepared for our hike in 2022, I ensured I had done everything to prevent my knees from going through the same experience and pain again. I went to physical therapy, stretched, broke in a new pair of shoes, and packed a number of items such as foam rollers, knee braces and kinesotape. I also decided to bring along a Theragun, a small handheld massage gun that packs quite the punch, and can give quick relief to sore, tight muscles.

In the days leading up to the Camino, I ensured I was using the gun to loosen my muscles and prepare for the journey. I also committed to stopping along the journey every 2-3 miles to take a quick break and work the gun on my knees, legs, and IT bands.

On day 1, after the first 3 miles of the Camino, Riley and I approached a small café nestled in the green hills of Northern Spain. We entered, ordered drinks and snacks, and sat down at the outside patio for our first break. I opened my backpack, took out my Theragun, and began massaging my legs. Many people at the nearby tables looked at this contraption with awe and amazement. It seemed that many of them had not seen something like this and wished they had one of their own.

Straight across from us was a table of four Spanish women in their mid to late 60’s, early 70’s. One of the women, Niebla, looked on with amazement. Along with the amazement, I could see that she was in pain as she attempted to stretch her legs. Understand this pain, I offered the Theragun to her.

She quickly accepted, and I showed her how it worked. She sat for about five minutes massaging the tight muscles in her legs, arms, neck, and back. She really took advantage of the offer! When she was finished, she handed me back the Theragun ,and with a large smile on her face said, “gracias!” She then headed back to her table, explaining to her friends with excitement and joy how much better she felt.

Riley and I finished out drinks and snacks, grabbed our hiking poles, and headed back onto the Camino. We said “adios” to NIebla and her friends and hiked a few more miles to the next stop.

Guess who we ran into there? Niebla! And her friends.

When she saw me, her faced lit up in a big smile as she greeted me. I handed her the gun again and she began to massage her legs, neck and arms. She thanked me again with a high five and massive smile.

Riley and I continued running into Niebla for the next four days of the Camino. Every time she saw me, I offered her and her friends the gun, and they gladly accepted the gesture.

On the fourth day, I had a little bit of time to connect with her and her friends and they explained to me how much they appreciated the gesture and how that small act of kindness brought them so much happiness, as well as a reduction of the physical pain that is common along the Camino.

After that day, I did not run into her or her friends again. However, that memory is one of my favorite memories from the Camino.

As you venture out into life, leadership, business, relationships and whatever journey or camino you are on, remember that giving and sharing of yourself, your skillsets, and your resources can bring massive joy and happiness to others.

Challenging and encouraging you to give of yourself with open hands and an open heart.

3 things:

I love you.

I believe in you.

You’ve got this.

Now, go get it!

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