I ran five miles today, nothing out of the ordinary. But today I ran that five miles for Meg, a woman who was struck by a drunk driver on her morning run this past Monday. We runners have all had close calls, we have all jumped out of the way just in time to avoid the distracted driver barreling toward us. But this week we lost one of our own. I do not know Meg, but I know a little about her.
I am her: I am a mother, a daughter, a friend, and a runner. I know what it feels like at the end of a run, when all of my limbs are tingling. I know what it feels like to reach a goal, to shave a few minutes off a race time, or to meet a new mileage goal. I know what it feels like to have something to work toward. I know what it is like to stand at the start line with thousands of others, with one purpose, to run. I know what it is like to run through the finish, with bystanders and faster runners cheering me on. Today, I, along with a whole lot of other people ran for a woman we don't know, and will never meet. We ran because that is what we do when we are sad, when we are anxious or when we need to work through a problem. Runners run. We ran after the tragedy at the Boston Marathon. And we will run the next time we lose someone.
Today I also ran for those who have never experienced the silence of a country road after snow. I ran for those who don't pay attention, who have never noticed the bluebirds sitting atop swaying stalks of milkweed, or great blue heron waiting patiently for a fish. I ran for those who have never stretched out sore muscles, who have never felt truly alive as their bodies moved in time with breath down a back road. I ran for those who don't understand.
Today I attempted to find compassion for those who value their destination or their text messages over my life. I tried to forgive those who find it amusing to scare me by swerving into my path or those who just don't care. I thought of Meg, and of Jim, and of all the others who have been killed or injured doing what they love to do, run. Today I am grateful, I am grateful to have been given the gift of this day, to run, without my headphones on the back roads of Berkshire County, with snow silently falling. I ran past rabbit tracks and a family of deer. I ran because that is what I do. My thoughts go out to family and friends of Meg today and it is an honor to be part of an amazing, supportive community.