While attending a running clinic last week one of the elite athletes spoke one phrase that totally resounds with me - "Respect everyone". You never know when you speak to someone, toe the start line with someone, or run a few km's with someone who they are or what their story is.
I had the great pleasure of both meeting, conversing with and sharing some stories over a meal with today's random kiwi tweeter - @sarb. @Sarb is one of those people who doesn't necessarily stand out in a crowd or someone who makes a big song dance about himself but underneath the surface is a myriad of complexity, warmth and awesome anecdotes that can keep you engaged for hours.
@sarb is quite literally the smartest person I have profiled so far. With not just one but two PhD's in different fields of psychology he is quite an intellectual powerhouse. With that much talent (and hard work to boot) it probably goes without saying that he is an associate professor. And yet with all that intellectualism he brings to the table a sense of humor, an ability to engage easily with other people and he exudes an inner warmth of care for others.
It is that caring nature and ability to empathize that see's him travel the length and breadth of not only New Zealand but the entire world. I don't want to say too much but his field of expertise is disaster recovery from a psychological perspective. So he spends time helping the good folk of Christchurch and other places where there have been major disasters as well.
He is also an amazing person for other reasons. On Saturday just been he ran/walked 60 kilometers to finish his second ever official ultra marathon. Not only is that a feat in itself but, according to the doctor, he may have covered the second half of the course with a concussion. On what was a super tough course he was able to dig deep and find both the drive, focus and single vision to get himself across the line.
Add to the mix hat he is a dad with a beautiful little girl and you'll have a pretty good picture of who @sarb is. And this wouldn't be a well rounded post if I didn't profile a few of his tweets so you know what you'll be looking at if you add him to your follow list -
Funny tweets - "I just cracked 1000 followers. I think that calls for a mini-w00t."
Weather tweets - "Bigger w00t reserved for substantial rain now falling in Rotorua"
Sports tweets - "Drinks break at nzVEng at the Basin Reserve. Ticket sales pretty chaotic at gate, and far fewer food outlets than required. Step up!"
Food tweets - "There is a conspiracy afoot to make sure that I don't get any lunch. I'm onto 'em"
Parental duties - "Good grief, I'm tired today - though a good day dipping in and out of the Newtown Festival with the toddler. How you doing?"
@sarb is an incredible person who if you ever have the chance or opportunity to meet in real life will in no way leave you disappointed. When you leave his presence you will leave with both a feeling of meeting a mutual mind but also with a feeling that you have gained something. That something could be knowledge, a fresh perspective on life or even just a warm feeling inside that you have engaged with a person who is completely genuine.
My final words to you are the same with which I started - Respect everyone.