Today was an interesting day for many reasons.
There was some excitement in the air at work with a long weekend pending and lots of work awaiting us next week. We are all looking forward to some rest and relaxation over the weekend before coming back and tackling the monster that looms before us. Needless to say we’ll be busy.
Also today I decided to run outside at lunch – something I haven’t done nearly enough of this summer. The sun, fresh air, and breeze was just the thing I needed today to revitalize.
Many of you know this already, but some of you may not – I work in downtown Minneapolis. I love working downtown, I enjoy taking the bus to work, and I like the busy skyways full of people. I have a YMCA within a 10 minute walk from my office and from there I have my choice of miles and miles of beautiful urban trails to run on. I can run around the lakes on the Grand Rounds or, as I did today, a beautiful scenic river run along the mighty Mississippi.
Last summer in training for the Twin Cities Marathon, I ran the river run dozens of times – a couple of times a week at least. This year, due to changes in my training plan, I’ve spent more time on the treadmill and indoor track than outside. After today, I realized that this was a mistake – I’ve missed the sights and sounds of the river and the people along the route. Half of what makes running so great is the community and feeling a part of things.
The route I take on my run goes right down along the river and directly past the ruins of the Interstate 35W bridge collapse. Until today, other than on the news, I hadn’t actually seen the destruction. Like most things, seeing something like this in person is far more sobering and full of reality than TV could ever provide, regardless of the quality of the high definition. I have run past and under this bridge dozens of times. I know it well. And yet, I was totally unprepared for the sight of it laying in the river, crushed and in pieces.
As I ran along the river, looking at the destruction, I was struck with thought of all the loss and also how truly lucky we all are to have life to live. Part of the reason for my thoughts, I’m sure, is due to the fact that one of the victims worked at my company and yesterday afternoon we had a memorial service for him. I didn’t know him in the slightest, I’d never met him, but I really wish I would have. He sounded like a kind, generous, funny, fun loving, interesting, and caring person. He was 29 years old, just a few days shy of 30, and I have to wonder what could have become of his life had he not been on that bridge at that time. What great things could he accomplish in the lifetime that is no more?
I don’t have any answers. I only know that I need to make sure that I am living every day to its fullest. It would be an insult to the memory of all of those who have never had the opportunity to live a long, fulfilling life to piddle away any moment of time.
Life is truly too short…
Here is the route I take:
37 days to the Twin Cities Marathon.