A few days ago someone thought of me in an unexpected way. It caught me off guard yet warmed my heart. Simply, it was thoughtful.
It was nothing more than an email forward with a link to the story of Jennifer Herring, a runner and a marathoner. There was no text in the email, just the story.
I’m a runner, a (terrible) marathoner even. The association is clear. I like running so I must like reading stories of other people running. But, Jennifer’s story is different and I knew why this particular forwarded message was sent to me. It wasn’t just about lacing up.
“When Herring runs, the world is a blur.”
I realized that this was more than a story about a runner, and it was more than someone recognizing my love for the sport. It was more because Jennifer is blind and our paths are congruent. Gym class was dreadful as a kid and bumping into things is common. But, one thing that’s certain is that in the face of what appears to be a setback or a disability, there’s courage, strength, and fearlessness with a whole lot of heart on the side.
I won’t ever know what it’s like to be completely blind, although that day may sometime come, and I probably won’t ever know what it’s like to run the Boston Marathon 23 times. But, what I do know is that regardless of ability, it takes a little bit of fearlessness to tremble behind a starting line waiting for the gun to go off and for your time to arrive. I also know that it can take 35 years to finally muster up enough courage to surrender and to recognize for yourself what others have seen in you all along.