Last Saturday I was at my son's soccer game when the husband of a friend of mine came by handing out flyers. He was holding a fundraiser at a local restaurant to raise money for St. Jude's, of which he was running the Marine Corps Marathon for on October 29th. My Marine Corps Marathon. What was most remarkable about this encounter was that I had no idea he was running the marathon. I had run into my friend just last week. It was the first time I had seen her since the summer and we talked extensively about my injury and disappointment over not being able to run and the hard work I had put in training for the marathon before everything fell apart. And my friend didn't mention her husband's training. Not once.
Did she just forget to mention it because it had slipped her mind? Or that it was no big deal? Highly unlikely, they have six children, including two year old twins. I am thinking that his time-consuming marathon training had a tremendous impact on the family schedule and there wasn't a day that went by where she wasn't painfully aware of the time it took for him to train. Was I miffed that she didn't tell me? No, I am in awe at her graciousness. Instead of telling me how excited he was that race day was almost here she focused on me. She didn't patronize me and say there would be other marathons. She didn't say how sorry she felt for me. She simply acknowledged my disappointment and the loss of something so important to me as running. And the psychological impact I was feeling. And assured me that even though a return to running at that distance seemed impossible I would get there. As a fellow runner she understood perfectly. And rather than having to fight the urge to tear up and put on a brave face like I do with most people who express their condolences about my loss I felt at peace. I am thankful to her not only for making me feel better about my situation, but for providing such a wonderful example of everyday grace.