Today while at lunch, my world came into a new focus. While everyone around me was eating, laughing, talking and enjoying life I just received a text message of a loved one, a family member in the hospital and my family was going to she her. Its a hard reality that life happens. When we arrived at the hospital we were greeted by a dozen or so family members and we all waited patiently in the waiting room while our loved one slept. We shared stories, laughed and talked about what was going on. It was a strange experience for me because I cannot remember the last time I went to the hospital for someone other than myself. In fact one of my cousins asked how I was feeling and how I was doing. It was nice to be able to share the progress and update my family. It was still weird. Last time I saw family in the hospital, it was people visiting me. Last time I was at a hospital I was the one lying in bed and wanting to pull out the oxygen tubes. Last time I was at the hospital, I had no clue what was going on. Today was much different. A short time later, my family and I were able to wake into the room where our loved one was. She spoke softly and somewhat incomprehensible. She spoke in Spanish but she remembered me. I almost responded in Germany, my dad later told me that she would have understood, she knows German, apparently. I learned something new about her. It was quite odd to see a beloved woman, a strong and powerful woman, lying so weak and sick in the hospital bed. Last time we saw her she was full of life and energy and at 95 years old or so, she had lots of life in her. Today, she breathed deeply and didn’t move too much. She smiled and laughed a little but it was different. I was even trying to convince her that she needs to get better so that I can try some of her famous cookies. She agreed and that I would have to go visit her. I agreed. Its just tough. Its odd because I can’t recall going to visit an older relative in the hospital whose future is unclear. She is still here, thank G-d! She is a beautiful and wonderful example of a full life and has the love of her children, grandchildren and even a few great grandchildren. Her family is lovely and I am glad to be related to her. This whole day I have been preoccupied with this situation. Thinking about life and death. For the first time I feel accepting of the circle of life. Maybe its because I am at a point in my life where I know that G-d is real and that there is a wonderful world awaiting us after our time on this earth. Maybe its because my loved relative has lived a truly remarkable life. Maybe because its out of my control and its in G-d’s hands. As you can tell I have reflected on this throughout the day. Something I can say is that today I gained a change to perspective on the human race. People always ask me if I still run and ya, maybe here or there but for the most part I like to exercise in ways less forceful to my body. This made me expand upon the idea of running further.
To run is to move your feet and essentially your entire body to a new place, faster than walking or crawling. An interesting note, as a baby you can’t run. Once you’ve learned to crawl, then you can walk and then you can try to run. As a runner you are constantly looking to improve, training for the next personal record and focusing on the end goal. Those in-between days filled with hard hill workouts or tempo runs look like nothing when you cross the finish line. The crazy thing is, once you pass that finish line, the journey, all those days that you hated, lost motivation, found it again and kept pushing, those are the days your remember for much longer. The journey was filled with good and bad days, intertwined with hard and easy. Life, especially when referred to as The Human Race, is a long, twisted, hill and valley filled course. The real question is, are you just speeding by each day as another workout, racing to the finish line? OR, are you taking your time, training each day in a slow and steady manner, recognizing the importance in each step to take you there? Either way, today was a reminder to me, to not race through focusing on the prize or goal but little progress each moment because life is already fast as it is, why speed through it and miss all the beauty along the way