So yesterday morning I was running AGAIN – yes I know, running is consuming my life at the moment but in 28 days it is all over – Comrades will be over.
Slogging along on a hill asking myself why I do this and why I submit my child to getting up in the morning and being cold and miserable – yes it was exceptionally cold in Johannesburg yesterday morning, a lady started to run next to me. Now my first thought was: “How can I get rid of her?”, I really do not feel like being social and talking to somebody. However she started to ask about Comrades, she has never done an uprun and is nervous about it – I had to giggle to myself because even though it is my fourth Comrades this year I still feel very much like a novice.
And then we started to talk about why we run and how we started to run. My stock standard story is always that I decided to run Comrades to loose weight and I ended up gaining 2kg’s. Anyway her story had me in tears with goosebumps all over my body. Her daughter was 23 when she died from an asthma attack. Yes the lady left work the morning and at 11 her husband phoned her telling her that he think their daughter is dead. She jumped in her car and drove home and when she turned the corner, the coroners wagon, the police and an ambulance were standing in her driveway and that is when reality hit. Her only daughter was gone. And like she said with that realisation her whole future was gone as well. She’ll never be a bride’s mother or be a grand mother and hold her grandchild or experience any of the other milestones we so take for granted. Anyway I was in tears.
Then I asked her how her husband was coping and she told me very matter of factly that her husband died 5 months after her daughter because of a broken heart and he lost the will to live. And then just to make it even worse her mother died of a heart attack on her husband’s funeral!! Ok so now I’m a blubbering wreck and I still had to run 15km’s!!
And then she started to tell me how she started to run after her husband’s death and how it saved her. How it dragged her from the deep dark hole of depression and how it is now as important as breathing. And how she loves how it makes her get out of bed to train and go to races and how wonderful it is to talk to other people and be uplifted by their stories. How the running has made her aware of other people’s problems and she has now actually started a charity that gives fabulous shoes to girls in orphanages, because her daughter loved shoes so much and all girls should have at least one pair of fabulous shoes.
And so once again – I was moved beyond words during a run and once again I’ve realised how important it is to open your heart to other people and not be grumpy and try and get away from them!
Have a lovely day and cherish your kids, even when they drive you insane.