Five minutes and seventeen seconds of intense suffering is nothing compared to what you live with when you’ve lost a child. That requires real endurance. It’s a series of back-to-back marathons that starts over again each day. I’ve been there.
I’m still there.
Today, I had the privilege to run the Wellesley 1 Miler in memory of Hannah Randolph. There are a lot of things that can motivate you as an athlete. Sometimes it’s the results. Sometimes it’s training. Sometimes nostalgia. Today it was, for me, recognition of how one life, however brief, changes your world, how the absence of that person irrevocably affects even the littlest things. I want to believe that my own suffering will lessen the burden of others. A law of conservation of grief.
I made my preparations from early this morning. I approached this like a championship race. My warm-up was flawless. My focus was 100%. I ran as hard and as fast as I could. Even as I suffered under the effort, I dug deeper. Even as I started to feel faint and my arms and legs no longer felt like my own. I ran for Hannah. I ran for Karen and Marshall. I ran for all their friends and family. I ran for my own son, Romeo, seven years gone now.
I will not describe results. I will make no excuses. I will tell no tales of glory. I left everything I had out there on the course. And, still, it didn’t feel like enough.