How one true act of kindness can change the world (well, sort of)…

We all have our own good/bad/ugly memories of PE lessons when we were growing up.

I was a bit of a sporty lass so my memories of the sports field are pretty good. I loved netball and hockey, enjoyed a bit of javelin throwing in the summer months and still show off my cheerleader trophies today.

My bad memories of PE lessons mostly revolve around freezing cold changing rooms and cross-country running in all weathers. Pah! Running was never my thing. What can I say, there were two big reasons getting in the way!

My girls have completely opposite attitudes to sport. One jumps in to every sport she can with her heart and soul, loves the thrill of the competition and isn’t afraid to get a few bumps and bruises along the way.

The other is all but allergic to getting sweaty and dirty, is small by comparison to her peers and is shy of being watched on the sports field. She chooses to exercise her mind over her body and is more likely to be found in the library than in the gym.

Last week I spent hours taking one to all variety of sports clubs and matches, and I spent even more hours counselling the other about the long distance run that was coming up at school.

I tried everything to reassure her that the run would be ok, she would get through it, but it was now keeping her awake at night.

“I’ll be last”…”Everyone will laugh at me”…”My asthma will be bad”…”I’m going to die”…she said.

In the end I gave up on all my attempts to reassure her that she wouldn’t be last as it was getting us nowhere, I’m a realist, she was probably right (I did point out she wouldn’t die at least!). Instead we shifted attitude to focusing on all the stuff she is good at etc etc. but this still wasn’t helping because ultimately she still had to run the race and she was dreading it.

We even went so far as to plot the distance on a map from our house so that she could picture how far the run was and suggested we could go and practice together…except practicing never quite happened of course as she was always just a bit too busy with her books.

So the morning of the run came and I said “you’ll get through it darling. You know what, sometimes we just have to do stuff we hate and we’re not the best at, but that’s not always a bad thing. Chin up.”

I couldn’t say much more than that, it’s a bit harsh, but a lot true!

Later that day I received the much awaited text. “I did it. I’m dead. Going to buy a chocolate milkshake now to reward myself”.

Phew, I thought. Not dead enough to not use her phone. And yep, I’d have gone down the chocolate route too so I’ll let that one go.

When we got home that night my little long-distance runner was in surprisingly good spirits. “So how’d it go?” I asked, bravely.

“Oh yeah, it was awful, I was last. I nearly died” she said. But without tears, and with a smile. Weird, I thought…I had a box of tissues ready for this moment!

“Okay…but it wasn’t as bad as you thought then?” I queried, nervously.

“Oh it was. It really was. Everyone else had finished the race and I was still going. I was a whole lap behind them and I was getting so embarrassed…

“But the Deputy Head was there too. He was marking our teacher or something. He had his smart suit and shoes on and was watching us run…

“Suddenly he come onto the track and said “running the last lap on your own is horrible, so I’m coming with you”. And he ran the whole last lap with me Mum. IN HIS SUIT AND SHOES!!

“It was soooo funny. Everyone gave us a massive cheer when we finished.

“So I was going to be all embarrassed and cry, but then I just thought oh I can’t be bothered, it was so funny seeing him running in his suit, I had to laugh”.

WOW!!!! I was not expecting that!

Surprised, delighted, proud….of them both! What a difference an act of kindness and a real show of support can make.

I haven’t stopped thinking about this all week. This event is going to stick with my daughter for a very long time.

When she needed the strength to keep going, there was someone who was prepared to join her and support her to make it to the end. He could have shouted at her, tried to push her on from the side, ignored her and written her off while he congratulated the speedy kids. But he didn’t, he literally ran the race with her.

His actions spoke louder than any words could have, and his kindness and support stopped her feeling like a laughing stock and made her the star in what turned out to be a very memorable race for all the right reasons.

So this is my post of the week and it comes with a great big THANK YOU to one very lovely man, and a great example to all, Mr Duffield.

And it’s reminded us that when someone needs support sometimes the best thing you can do is just leap in and go the distance with them. That is the act of true kindness, and it really can change one person’s little world.


Brilliant blog posts on


  1. suzanne3childrenandit says:

    Ooh my, I got goosebumps reading this – how wonderful! What a fantastic head teacher and well done to your girl for getting over her fears and giving it a go. She will remember this forever, for all sorts of reasons. Not least her mum, who cheered her on (in spirit) and was ready to pick up the pieces. Well done all! x


    • Thanks Suzanne, yes, a wonderful chap by all accounts,he gets a big gold star from me! Not quite sure how he’s going to help her with the high-jump next week though! hehe! Here we go again…. x


  2. What a lovely, heartwarming read – good for him and her! Thanks for linking up to #MBPW 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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