Monday, December 10, 2012

Bravery's Face

In the late spring/early summer of 2009 a very bad thing happened to a very good young man.  Gabe Hurley - who it has been my pleasure to know since he and Suzanne attended grammar school together - was critically injured when another driver lost control of his car and after crossing into Gabe's lane of travel hit Gabe's car head-on.  Gabe sustained life-altering injuries.  Among other things, he was left sightless.

He may very well be the most resilient young man I know.  He is most assuredly the bravest.  Once upon a lifetime ago - when he was in high school - he used to run.  A lot.  Back then he lived about a half-mile from us and our house was part of his regular running route.  I used to see him run past my driveway on a regular basis. 

Among the many things he had not been able to do in the three-plus years since his accident, which had been part of his day-to-day prior to it, was run.  I know that for at least the past year to eighteen months it was an itch he was dying to have the chance to scratch.  On Saturday morning - ably assisted by Wendy - he did. 

This past Saturday morning Gabe was one of the thousands who lined up on College Avenue alongside "the Barn" for the 10th annual Big Chill 5K.  His first post-accident 5K.  According to the official timekeeping system at the race his finishing time was 39:48.  However as those of us who run tend to do, Gabe kept his own time at the race - and with good reason.  I love the Big Chill.  But it is a mob scene, especially at the start. 

His official "clock" time did not take into account the time that passed between when the gun went off and when Gabe actually stepped across the starting line.  In a race that has several thousand entrants and a "we all start together" system for getting onto the course, getting from your starting place to the starting line can be a journey of several minutes.  Smartly, to ensure he could keep track of his point-to-point time on the course, he wore a watch.  It is the same reason I wear a watch to every race I run).  One likes to have an accurate accounting.  Gabe's ACTUAL time?  A jaw-dropping 32:41. 

On Saturday, he reminded those of us who know him just how remarkable a young man he is.  Same as he ever was. 


1 comment:

Mama Mcd said...

Congrats, Gabe! You never cease to amaze me! Love you! Mama Mcd