Skip to Main Content

Running with the Herd

I had a wonderful vacation in Sedona. The flight I was waiting on from Atlanta to Kansas City was changed just as everyone was in line to board the plane. The Delta employee announced a flight change, telling ALL of us, this plane had a door that would NOT close!

This flight was fully booked. There was a huge group groan. We were told we had to go to concourse T, the concourse was the last stop on the Delta terminal. And in that concourse was the LAST gate in terminal T.

Right before we heard this announcement, a very friendly middle-aged woman was telling me all about her life with children. She also lived in Atlanta and knew her way around the Atlanta airport. Her flight was last minute, and she was urgently flying to Kansas City for her brother’s heart surgery the very next day.

When we heard the flight change, she said "stay with me! I know where we need to go." Well, the whole group was in panic mode and around 10p.m. I was running with the huge group toward the other plane waiting to taxi down the runway.

This angel of a woman, smiling as we ran with our carry-on tote bag, said "sounds like a herd of buffalo, doesn't it?!" She and I felt anxious as we watched this whole plane full of passengers step onto this upward escalator! Oh my God, will it hold up and take us up safely?

We ran the length of the first concourse, went down a steep escalator, got onto a tram, rode it to the last concourse, stepped onto another escalator, went UP with luggage, ran down to the end of terminal T to our gate.

Everyone made it to board a full flight to KC. I was so focused on boarding that I actually left my tote bag that had my purse in it, but I did have my carry on going to enter the boarding lane. She ran up behind me, handing off my tote to me! That was first time I ever left a bag. Thank God she handed it to me. This woman went out of her way to run with me and get us to the right terminal.

While running and climbing to new terminal, this woman kept talking as we ran with the herd! But it was very positive talk and smiles all the way. Later, when I was seated on the plane, I thought "what an angel in disguise!" It would have been easier for her to just focus on herself and get to the boarding gate.

Something I realized after I was seated and waiting for the plane to taxi down the runway was this: many times I may have thought people of a certain age who do not appear PHYSICALLY FIT could not do what I was forced to do without warning. The rush to board was like running an obstacle course. As I was boarding, I realized I was breathing normally!

Perhaps it's more about mental attitude and urgency to get somewhere. I am one of those people of a "certain age" and felt grateful I was running with the herd... and that I was keeping up... even when I was carrying a heavy tote and a carry on suitcase up and down escalators, a tram, and running down several concourses.

If you're reading this real-life story, I hope it inspires you through your next obstacle on your life journey.