Disclaimer: This post will be posted a day after it was finished. Some say it might take away from the point of the post, but this is what happens when you don’t quite finish it the morning of the 15th and go straight from work to Passover Seder and don’t get home until it’s past your bedtime.
April 15th, 2014. Just a day like any other. Quite unremarkable, really. It’s raining, but warm rain. Standard for a spring day in Philadelphia.
A date is just a day on the calendar until something happens.
April 15th, 2014. Tax day in the United States. The day before my father’s birthday (and he still doesn’t look a day over 35). And it also happens to be the second night of Passover. Tonight, I will go to my childhood home and feast with 20 different family members and friends. Despite my age, I’ll be seated at the kid’s table. We’ll drink wine, eat cardboard known as matzo, break into a spontaneous rendition of “Let My People Go,” and argue over which child is the wise one, wicked one, simple one, and one who doesn’t know enough to ask a question. And at some point throughout the night, we’ll ask, mah nishtanah, ha-laylah ha-zeh, mi-kol ha-leylot?
What has changed, this night, from all the other nights?
It always feels good to pass other people.
Two days ago, I ran the Broad Street Run for the second time. One month after a back injury and not training as hard as I would have wanted to, I managed to shave over two minutes off my time from last year. Unlike last year, I didn’t almost puke at the finish line. And while there is always a sense of camaraderie among runners and races as large as the Broad Street 10 miler, this year, seeing thousands of runners wearing red socks in support of Boston made this race more about coming together as a community than about competition.
So why was I mildly disappointed by my time? After all, I had set my own personal record for a 10 mile race, and I had just come off a back injury! And sure, I passed fellow racers in the first mile, the 5th mile, and passed several racers in my sprint to the finish line. All things considered, I should have been thrilled just to finish the race without exacerbating a pre-existing condition.
May 6th, 2012, 10:30 AM. I didn’t think it was possible to simultaneously dry heave, smile, and cry, but it happened when I crossed the finish line of the 2012 Broad Street Run. In that moment, I had conquered 10 miles, considered myself a runner and never looked back. In the 11 months that followed, running became much more than my recreational sport of choice. It became my most adaptive coping skill. Pissed off? Sprints. Elated? Tempo run. Too much on my mind? The long slow distance run gave me time to get it together. The saying held true for me: running is cheaper than therapy, and there was nothing that couldn’t be solved with a solid run.
And then April 15th, 2013 happened.