Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Moments of Wonder, of Thunder

Last Mile, Boston 2013 (photo by guide Randy Spellman)
A few weeks ago I was seriously considering changing to the half marathon at Charlotte. I was struggling with my longs runs and more than that, down on myself because I have become so slow as gravity engulfs me in the vortex of aging. Usually this does not bother me in that I accept this is the way of life, yet I can feel the inner swift boy struggling against the ropes of time.

After all, Charlotte was planned to be part of my training, not my goal race, so why put myself through the marathon gauntlet if it didn't really matter?


Several things helped bring me to my senses, to know that I would not take the easy out. One was coming to know more about sisters Nicole Gross and Erika Brannock and their mother Carol, and this story, "Portrait of a Rescue."

It all brought to mind the question of what-ifs. What if this would be my last race, how deep the arrow of regret would be if I gave up, gave into my weakness? As I ran down Coleman Blvd on a Sunday I knew I would not give in, I would run the marathon, that I would see the race to its end. That others had lost so much, lives and limbs, and I that I could run at all is one of the many small miracles I have been blessed to witness. There will be no compromise and no defeat.

I will be on that marathon starting line, taking the extra 30 minute head start to make sure I finish if the battle rages on. In my heart I know I cannot fail. I will finish the race. I will fight the good fight.


At moments of wonder, it is easy to avoid small thinking, to entertain thoughts that span the universe, that capture both thunder and tinkle, thick and thin, the near and the far.

- Pi, from "The Life of Pi" (Yann Martel)

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