I’m not really sure what the actual order of events has been in this whole process, but I coached a little girl for about a year up until I quit a couple months ago and this little girl also happens to be in the same class as Number 6, and I think the mom may have started reading the blog and then we became Facebook friends and I’d see her occasionally at swim practice and meets although I really saw the dad more because she didn’t usually get back from work in time to do the whole swim practice thing so the dad was on swim practice duty.
So initially I had more conversations with the dad than with the mom.
At some point the mom and I started private messaging each other about something, and then we had a conversation that went on about a whole bunch of things and then I wrote a post about getting back into running and really setting some goals for myself (like breaking 4 hours in a marathon) and also doing an Ironman because I just want to prove to myself that I can do it.
And then my friend messaged me that she also wanted to do something big because she just wanted to prove to herself that she was still a badass.
And still not actually knowing this mom that well, and having no idea what her background was I was thinking, “Okay, maybe I’ll suggest a 5K or something like that.”
And then she messages me and says, “I think I want to do a marathon.”
And impressed by her ballsiness I was like, WELL OKAY, THEN LET’S DO A FUCKING MARATHON.
So we registered for the Hartford Marathon. I have to redeem myself from the first time I did it, and it’s a great marathon for a first timer because it’s relatively big but it’s also easy to get to and the course is pretty flat.
So we registered and she’s kind of type A I think, at least when it’comes to planning stuff, and she found a training program immediately and spoke to a bunch of people who are experienced in running and running marathons and she bought herself a good pair of running shoes, and we kind of came up with a tentative plan and we made a date to run together this morning.
And then two weeks ago she officially started her marathon training and went to the track with her family for her first official training session.
And then the next day we had the tornado or macroburst or whatever and we lost a couple trees and our power for four days and our internet for about ten days.
And my new running buddy lost her entire house.
It was completely demolished when a tree landed not on part of it, but on all of it.
That was on May 15th.
We had planned our first run together for this morning.
I messaged her yesterday letting her know I hadn’t forgotten about our running date, and kind of expecting her to let me know with all the stuff going on with her house that trying to train for a marathon was just too much right now.
I at least thought she’d cancel today.
But she didn’t.
I really need it right now, she told me.
And so we met this morning.
Understandably she hasn’t run at all since her house was destroyed. So we didn’t run.
We walked. And we talked. And talked. And talked.
I know I’ve written a couple of posts about the insanity of that storm and about losing power and not having internet access.
But what we went through was a complete joke compared to what my friend is experiencing right now.
Not some inconveniences, but total devastation.
And she wasn’t whining. She wasn’t complaining. She wasn’t one upping anyone at all. She wasn’t telling me I had it easy or that I had nothing to complain about.
But we did have it easy, and we don’t have anything to complain about.
So I’m sharing this story as a reminder that most of our problems are so minor. Most of our problems and complaints are, in the big picture, insignificant.
Having no power for a week is inconvenient. Having the kids miss school for a week is a pain in the ass.
But losing your entire house is life altering.
And in all of this my friend is still able to keep things in perspective. She is exhausted and emotionally drained but she realizes, most importantly, that she still has her family and everyone is alive.
She said a few weeks ago that I inspired her to do something big.
But she’s the one who is inspiring me when, faced with the loss of her house, she has not backed down from the challenge of the literal marathon she is training for or the less measurable one she’s got ahead of her with the insurance companies, contractors, builders and inspectors on her family’s journey to rebuild their home.
So going into Memorial Day, maybe try to make it through the day without complaining about anything.
Instead focus on what you have.
And practice some gratitude for your family and your health and your intact home and the life you are able to enjoy due to the sacrifice of others.