So, when my friend asked me to run a leg of the Kalamazoo to South Haven ultra marathon on his relay team I was only planning to do the second (a little more than 6.5 mile) leg. But, another team member got injured, so now I’m also running the first (about 3 mile) leg. I also thought that, surely to god, it would be a fine temperature outside. When I start running? It will be in the TWENTIES. I did one 7 mile run outside when it was in the thirties last week, and after I got started, my many many layers worked, and I was fine–not the burning pain that I get putting Trudes into her car seat, for example–but that is really the only longer than 3 miles in the cold I’ve run in … I don’t know. Probably since BC (before cancer).
Anyhow, I told John that I was feeling nervous the other night when we were at a meeting. He’s offered to run one of my legs, but I told him that I’d feel like I was quitting if I let him, so I’m going to gather my inner strength (and the strength from running 10 miles on the treadmill), my layers, my focus, and I’m going to do it. He responded that, dude, chemo changes lots of things, and don’t feel one way or the other about whatever choice, and he’ll be available after the first leg, no words necessary if I need it.
This is a friend that I know from sitting on a board with him for a few years–inclusive of the cancer year–and really, that is all. I can’t explain why his kindness moves me so much–perhaps it is the only sort of know each other, but still a deep understanding of what I might need, the permission to not be or do or know.
What a gift.