I wasn’t going to run today.
I got up later than planned and spent the morning cleaning the kitchen. I made myself a cup of mocha and curled up in my favorite chair to enjoy the quiet while I continued reading a book a friend had shared with me. That’s when I heard the whisper on my heart.
I glanced at the clock. 9:15 a.m. The locals at Rutland had already begun their memorial Run for Meg; it was too late for me to join in. Besides, even if I left now, there would be no place to park. And I was cozy warm right here, still snuggled up in my favorite fleece pajama pants. I had no desire to run in the cold.
Let me interject here that I am not a runner. I don’t record my miles and couldn’t even begin to tell you what my PR would be for any race. I’m more of a Zumba-Yoga-Let’s-Plank-On-The-Floor kind of gal. Sure, I’ve run a few races here and there, but you won’t find me on the training circuit anytime soon. Running just isn’t my thing.
Suddenly, I was overcome with emotion. Here I was, making every excuse in the world not to run, when Meg would have already been out the door and down the street if she had the chance. How could I possibly sit here, on today of all days, and not run? The quiet whisper on my heart was crowded out by the blaring drill sergeant in my mind. “GET OFF YOUR LAZY BACKSIDE AND RUN!!”
Six minutes later, I was dressed and out the door.
I put in my earbuds and started to search for my running playlist, filled with fast-paced, motivating tunes, when I realized there was music already filling my ears. The music was light, lilting, a beautiful piano arrangement of Jesu Joy Canon in D played by David Nevue. Not quite the heavy beats of hard rock to match the rhythm of my feet pounding the pavement. But as the melody swelled with sweetness, I discovered that it was actually perfect for today. This was not a race about time, nor pace, nor stride.
This was a run for Meg.
I have never listened to classical music while exercising, but as the incremental chords moved up the piano keys, I found it a perfect counterpart for today’s run. My mind focused on my senses. The cool morning air whipping against my ears. The sparkle of last night’s raindrops shimmering on blades of grass from my neighbor’s yard. The gentle swish of my arms and legs and they moved forward, pushing up the granite hill. Even the sunshine seemed brighter, more heavenly, more spectacular this morning.
As I made my way to the back of my neighborhood, I saw a neighbor I had never met walking his dog on a leash. The puppy was obviously excited to be outside as well, running circles around the man.
I started to run past, his little pup straining against the leash to meet someone new. I stopped running and knelt down, the curly-haired dog jumping into my lap as if I were his long-lost friend. I showered him with attention then stood up and smiled at the man. “He’s so cute!” I complimented, as the man smiled back at me. “I’m trying to teach him how to walk on a leash,” he replied as we both continued our separate journeys.
The rest of my run was quiet. Serene. My thoughts drifted to Meg, her husband, her children and her mom. I pondered endless questions of life, death, and purpose. I thought of all the ways Meg had blessed others in her short time on earth and how many more were blessed by her memory even now. As my legs started to tighten and the sweat rolled down my brow, I thought of the thousands of runners doing the same thing as me, in this exact moment, all for the same person. It was a humbling awareness, to be a part of something so big, even though I was running all alone.
I wasn’t going to run today.
But I did.
I ran for Meg.
And I even wore blue from my shirt to my shoes.