Faithful run helps renew spirit, soulPublished December 9. 2002 in The Post-Standard.
By Dr Kamal Jabbour, Contributing Writer
A few weeks ago, I hung up my writing pen in favor of my running shoes. I wrote a farewell to my readers, and pledged to spend my writing time in my running shoes. In the sweltering summer, I ran with renewed hope. I increased my miles, and enjoyed the forgotten taste of sweat on my lips.
As leaves turned and flurries flew, I relived the bitter memories of those who left. I remembered a father who raised me into manhood. I prayed for a mother who left me three children to raise. I relived the horrors of man's hate for his fellow man. On each of these days, I turned to running for answers.
The stress of uncertainty bore down as we stared in silence at our screens. We typed away looking for a sign. A radio in the corner carried the tunes of the pipers and the tears of the mourners. I felt a knot in my throat and tightness in my legs. My feet pulled me away from my desk. The road called.
At the stroke of noon, I abandoned my watch. In a Fourth of July race shirt and brown dress socks, I hit the road. A heavy cloud cover and a stiff wind gave proof to the sadness of the moment. I ran aimlessly, searching for a meaning to my run.
I remembered a simple rule to start a run into the wind when still feeling fresh, and to finish strong with a breeze to my back. So I ran into the wind toward the Mohawk Valley, a retired bomber that stood at the gate in memory of those who gave their lives so we may run free.
As I approached she drew me to her shadow. I noticed that she had rolled away from the road to make room for construction. I ran under her wings and felt her shelter from the winds. On her hallowed ground, I gave a prayer of thanks for those who flew for our sake, and a prayer of remembrance for those who left.
True to the promise, a breeze to my back brought me home. I finished my run physically strong and emotionally drained. I cleansed my body in the hot waters of the shower and my soul in the faith in our future. I returned to my keyboard and resumed my watch. On this day, all ended well.
Kamal Jabbour runs and writes on the hills of Pompey, New York. His RUNNING Column appears in The Post-Standard on Mondays. Dr.J. created TrackMeets.com, webcasting live Every Lap of Every Race. He receives email at firstname.lastname@example.org.