Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Happy Birthday 5K for Mom
The old adage goes, "The race is not always given to the swift, but to those who keep on running." ~Author unknown.
I thought about this as I ran down Embarcadero in San Francisco on Sunday, an abnormally warm and sunny day for San Francisco in near-October. I was running about a 12 minute mile, which was slower than my pace even as I practiced for the Race for the Cure. The difference? Everything that the race signified for me, and for the two thousand or so other people who gathered to run that morning, had finally made its impact on me. It wasn't weighing me down, per se. It was just... significant. It was something I needed to observe, which meant I was running a little slower than I wanted to but experiencing the event the way I needed to.
I'm running for Mom. On what would have been her 57th birthday. I'm seeing women and men that look like the world--they're from everywhere, they look like everyone. And we all want breast cancer to be a thing of the past, and we all want to do something beautiful and celebratory to honor those who've fought it, be they survivors running alongside us, or loved ones we now miss. I'm running for Mom and the lady next to me is running for Aunt Kristin, and the little boy to the left of me is running for his Nana, who is here at the race waiting for him to reach the finish line. And the Stanford Rugby women and the Cal Cross Country men with their pink shorts and tutus, they're running because they can and should run, because they have the lungs and legs and spirit to do it.
As I took it all in, I can't deny that it was bittersweet. I absolutely thought, Mom should be running here too, with a hot pink Survivor Shirt on.
As I encouraged myself to keep running, swift or not, I also thought about those who couldn't run. I also wondered, for the millionth time, why do bad things happen to good people? Why do good things happen to bad people? Why do things happen the way they do?
Some say that old saying about the race not being for the swift was a reference to Ecclesiastes 9:11, which reads: "I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all."
In other words, to answer my questions, "Who knows?"
I sure don't. But I do know that I believe God has a plan for me and my life, and that as clueless as I may be to how it will all pan out and why, I'm confident that I'll be okay. I also know that as long as I can live--and run, walk, smile, laugh, fight, survive, WRITE--I will do it with gratitude.