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Secrets of Success

Hats Off

A few weeks ago I noticed it wasn’t there.
I looked everywhere I could think of but it was nowhere to be found.
I was forced to accept the fact.
I had lost my hat.
Yes, my hat.
But not just any hat.

I had lost my Ironman finisher’s hat from the 2010 Lake Placid Ironman.
It was not a hat you can buy.
You had to earn it.
And I had certainly earned mine.
After a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike and a 26.2-mile marathon I had earned it.
After 15 hours 5 minutes and 59 seconds on that course and I had earned it.
And every time I wore it I thought of that day.
My third Ironman.
My best time ever.
I don’t tend to like things all that much.
But I liked this thing a lot.
As a matter of fact I loved my hat.
And now it was gone.

Or maybe not….

Now those who know me and those who have read my articles know I am not the type to give up.

Maybe there was a way to get another hat.
I turned to the broadcast channel for the world- the Internet.
I logged onto one of the Triathlon related chat rooms and left this message:
“I lost my finisher hat from IMLP ’10. Does anybody know if there is a way to get a replacement?”
I didn’t know what to expect. The message was more like an electronic “note in a bottle.”

Well, someone saw the “bottle” and read the note.
Within hours I received a response from Charlie Abrahams, a fellow Ironman from Boston.
He had raced in Lake Placid in 2010 and was offering to give me his finisher’s hat.
I have never met Charlie and had not expected when I sent the email anyone would actually give me their hat.
After all he had worked just as hard for his hat as I had for mine.
Never the less he was giving the hat to me.
Two days later it arrived in the mail.
I immediately called Charlie and let him know how touched I was by his generosity.
Being the nice person he obviously is, he simply said he was happy to do it.

The Lessons

This is not a story about a hat.
It’s a story about kindness and generosity.
It’s about one person caring about another person-a person they had never met but someone they could help in some way.
It’s a story of putting the needs of another first.
It’s a story about the self-effacing nature of generous people.
In the exchange of a hat I saw all of that.

And it made me feel good.

There is enough bad news in the world.

So I wanted to share a short story of someone who simply did a nice thing for another person.

The next time you have an opportunity to do a small kindness like Charlie Abrahams did remember the huge impact we can have on each other by doing the small things.

So hats off to Charlie.

And hats off to each of you the next time you take the time to think of another.

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Baltimore, Maryland 21214

phone 410-444-5857

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