I will run faster and with more determination.

Last Spring my daughter Sarah called me asking if I’d come out to Los Angeles to run a 5K with her.  Sunday at six thirty in the morning Sarah and I are being dropped off in the registration area and I ask, “How many people are running?”

“A couple of thousand I guess…” she says.

“It’s a lot more than that,” I said looking around at the masses that were registering, warming up, talking and hydrating.  I felt both excitement and nervousness. Thirty minutes later a loud speaker blared, “Runner’s take your marks.” And BANG we were off.

The Race

The once still mass moved in total unison.  It was a thing of beauty.  It was thrilling.  And we were a part of it.  Only after we started, did I notice the diversity of people running with us.  Whole families including little kids were on the run.  An older couple, clearly in great shape, was keeping a spectacular pace.

The energy was euphoric.  The whole mass has been released and like fireflies the kids showed the most joy in zig zagging and sprinting around everyone.  “This is fun,” I said louder than I had anticipated.

Sarah said, “I knew you’d like it dad!”

Several people in our running pack smiled at my comment clearly acknowledging their joy to be there with us.  I felt touched.  It was different than being physically touched by just one person – everyone was touching me.  It was wonderful.  I felt free.

We ran faster.  My daughter and I talked and talked in between our steps sharing a new bond in this experience together.  I felt it with everyone.  As we ran in the middle of closed streets people cheered for us as if they were our family.  They smiled and screamed, “You can do it!” encouraging us to new heights.  I felt important and I also felt humbled.

I felt humility in someone offering me water.  While running I grabbed a Dixie cup at a water station gulped the water in a single breath and threw the crumbled paper to the ground like I was a true Boston Marathoner.  A total stranger had just handed me a cup of water, smiled at me as if I was really important and offered me their genuine love and support. It was appreciated.

The run was over in a flash.  My endorphins were high and I felt great.  I sincerely hugged my daughter as I had wanted to with everyone for cheering, participating and offering us this event.  I felt touched.  We walked to pick up our runner’s bags to celebrate our victory as participants.  The race is over but I still feel touched.

The Family We Create

I didn’t run in the Boston Marathon yesterday but they are my family.  I weep for those who would try and splinter my family with fear.  I run with my family in Boston even though I wasn’t there.  It’s frustrating that I can’t hold them now.

I will run with my family in Santa Monica again this year even though some of them are hurt.  My daughter sliced her Achilles tendon and may not be able to run at all.  Her walking this distance is a big deal.  For the rest of my family we will run.  We have all determined to run in love knowing that we can’t be separated.

I will run faster and with more determination.  I’m aware of the fears but they don’t outweigh the love and unity that I feel for my family.  I need to practice.  I can love more.   I can love you my family more.