I write about my life and life itself seen through my eyes for who can write through the experiences of others if not their own?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Happy Birthday, Rene.
An Occasional Runner

He claims no interest in running but he runs and he runs well, infrequently well. He races occasionally, and if you have the time, he will give you a dissertation in painful detail of all the aches, pains, ailments, hair loss, the meal he ate three months ago and everything that could have affected his performance today. He will argue that he could have beaten a number of competitors had it not been for the issues he faced today.

He remembers every course he has ever run. He notices to the last detail everyone around, in front and even behind him and he will debate that his time was better than what the rest of us remember or what the clock above his head showed.

When the challenges of life have threatened to take the best of him, he has turned running into his only therapy, and while whispering a silent prayer, he has found in it the courage to go on. Thank God for those challenges, they seem to be the only kind of speed work he ever gets.

When I take a break from the rushes of my everyday life, I realize how much I have forgotten about this man, the same things that made me notice him years ago in New York City; the childlike candor with which he listens to a joke, the effervescence with which he talks to his children, the passion with which he defends what he loves and the gentle smile with which he accepts his mistakes. And while I remember these qualities, I’ll listen once again to the reasons why he didn’t run well today…