When you’ve been running as long as I have, there are many moments you can trace back to running. Among those moments is my memory of a run on September 12, 2001.
We lived on the other side of town at the time, a bit closer to the airport. Many of my daily runs back then were peppered with the sound of incoming and outgoing planes. Not overly loud–they were still fairly high up–but enough that I was aware of the din on most runs.
The day after September 11, most of us were tied up in knots, unsure of what to do with ourselves. One thing I knew I needed to do was go for a run. Now, I live fairly close to DC, so even going out like that the next day seemed a bit of an uncertain idea, but I knew I had to go.
And what I remember from that run is the eerie silence. There were no planes in the air. There were very few people out and about. It was a bit disconcerting, I’ve got to say. But the quiet also gave me the chance to think, to process, to pray.
When I got back from that run, I was still a mess, of course, like everyone else in the nation. But I DID feel better. Like many other times in life, running was there to make the tough going just a little bit easier.