If you live on the far Northside of San Antonio and drive through Redland Road off 281, you've probably seen him once or twice, or maybe everyday!
He is always walking, wearing headphones, a contagious smile and big waves for all the cars, buses and anyone traveling the road. I always see him and no matter what mood I'm in, he always makes me smile.
I was curious about him. Who is he, does he live close by, why does he wave at every passing car. What's the story? I just had to stop and find out.
His name is Brad. He lives close by, has worked as an engineer for Boeing for the past fifteen years, and has been walking for five years, everyday!
"In 2009, I weighed about 300+ pounds and I couldn't play with my grand kids or walk even a short distance without being out of breathe," said Brad.
I also had three knee replacements and my doctor told me I should not walk more than five minutes.
Brad decided enough was enough. He started walking little by little, everyday for the five minutes his doctor told him. Then ten, then fifteen, then more and more as he got stronger. He decided he would walk until he could walk no longer.
Anyone that drives through Redland Rd knows that there are no sidewalks, no really safe barriers from being hit. As a matter of fact, this is one reason Brad decided to start waving at everyone driving by.
"I was standing in front of the farm watching the cows when I heard a car coming down the road. As I turned around, I notified it came off the road and into the grass area. If I had not moved out of the way, the lady driving would have hit me," Brad recounts.
Turns out the driver was texting and was not paying attention. This prompted Brad to start waving at everyone he saw looking down texting in order to get them to pay attention and focus back on the road.
"It's been five years, 120 pounds lost and walks about five miles, not five minutes and I wave at everyone!"
And this writer noticed everyone waves at him too. Brad has even been featured on a local television station and has a Facebook page about his waving. He also knows many of the drivers by name because they often stop by. Police cars turn their sirens on when driving by and wave back at him too. School buses with children honk and all the kids wave at him. I asked him what his best advise for people that wanted to change their lives was and he said, "Get out and Walk."
Great Advise! His favorite quote is "There is no such thing as a normal life, just life"
I wondered how many people that do not wave back, but he has changed their lives in some way, their moods, made them smile?
Whose life will you change today?
Next time you drive by and see a man waving at you, wave back. It could change you forever.