Monday, October 5, 2009

Pretty in Pink

We came. We saw. We survived. Hell, we did more than survive. For the serious runners amongst our number - including my niece Megan, my nephew Joe and Suz's beau Ryan - the course was completed so quickly it appeared from afar as if they ran like people being chased. For the weekend warriors among us - including yours truly - the race passed in or about thirty minutes or so (31:27 for this old man). For my bride, who had never run a 5K before - and who I think had likely not taken a step in anger since her days as a Lady Blue Jay - completed her run without stopping. On occasion she downshifted from running to walking but she never, ever stopped moving forward. And at the finish, roughly 49 minutes after she started, she finished with a well-earned smile on her face and a surprising amount of spring left in her step.

It was impossible to not look around Great Adventure yesterday morning without smiling and/or marveling at what was going on around us. I went to law school to stay away from hard math but there appeared to be several thousand people in attendance. We arrived on site shortly after the sun appeared in the eastern sky, as it burned off the early morning fog and generated not only light but heat. At the start, the assembled mass included among its number Governor Corzine. No one is quite so charitable as an incumbent in the midst of a re-election campaign in which most polls show him show him trailing one month before Election Day? Perhaps - although in fairness to our present and - if the deficit he faces on November 4 is similar to that he faces on October 4 -our soon-to-be former Governor - he is apparently a fairly dedicated runner. And he has run at least one more Race than I have this year. Whether he gets my vote one month from now, he earned a lot of kudos this morning from those to whom he spoke and those to whom he listened as they spoke to him.

The most poignant part of the morning was the survivors' walk. Not too long after Suz and I each finished the Race, we stood (along with Suz's friend Jamie who ran as a member of Sue's Crew as well), and watched the procession. The Race organizers had them line up by the number of years each has lived cancer-free. There were those who are just starting to enjoy life free of this bastard. And there were those who are - much like my own mom - at least twenty-five years cancer-free. As the three of us stood there, applauding those who have survived, each of us thought of course of our team's namesake and our inspiration.

It has been the most dreadful of years in our little corner 'NTSG. But yesterday morning we turned the corner a little bit. We turned the corner more than just a little bit. We turned it and put a little bit of distance between us and it. And through it all, there she was, little Suzy B., smiling down upon us and showing us all how to get to where we needed to go. Same as she always did. Same as it ever was.

-AK

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