Running makes me feel alive, even immortal at times, despite the high ratio of bad runs to good ones. Running fulfills every nook and cranny of my mind, body, and spirit. The physical, emotional, and mental health benefits are unsurpassed. Simply, it makes me a better person.
But, what if all of that ended in the blink of an eye?
I started thinking about the longevity of my running “career” and immortality in general. What if we all had an unlimited amount of time on this planet? What would we do with it?
Then, I started thinking of mortality in a general sense – too heady of a topic for any given day, let alone a Sunday afternoon. This all stemmed from a conversation I had at Saturday’s Altamont 5K (25:33, by the way, which I was pleased with) with the subject of my previous post, the infamous Joe.
I could tell that he looked a little uneasy when I first saw him that morning. He was quick to inform me that Jim had died.
I first met Jim during last year’s race series. I felt like the honorary granddaughter as Jim was 71. Here I was, 33 at the time, hanging out with a bunch of old guys. I learned that he lived in the next town over from me, loved to ride his bike, and was a seasoned runner. Upon first glance, you knew Jim was fit despite his age.
I was taken aback when Joe informed me that Jim had unexpectedly passed away the previous Monday. They were just acquaintances, as was I, and he first learned of his passing through the newspaper obituary. Coincidentally, the last activity Jim engaged in was a morning run.
The local running community is large, but the faces are familiar from week to week and we had both hoped to see Jim at this small hometown race. As Joe and I attempted to piece together the details of Jim’s death we wondered if, quite possibly, he did test the limits of his heart. As we talked, I learned a little more about Joe. He had four children, yet none of them spoke to him. He lived alone, as I had suspected, and his kids never pay him a visit. They never call to congratulate on a race well done or to wish him luck.
My heart sank for the second time.
Saturday’s race was a strange one. I gave it my best effort, leaving nothing in the tank. But, I was a little sad. You see, life is unexpected and unpredictable. We could be out for a run one moment, and the next, a strange serious of events occurs stripping everything away. Cherish those who are close to you. Share with them your loves and your love. Be supportive and most importantly, be kind.
That is all.