Today was a gloomy, rainy, grey, and thoroughly blah day.
It’s also Veterans Day. Which, for those of you, like me, who didn’t know before now, commemorates the signing of the armistice that ended the hostilities of World War I (though the war wasn’t officially over until later). It was signed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, which is just, well, cool.
It’s a federal holiday and apparently a bank holiday as well. So bankers and government workers get the day off, and teachers/students. Seems to me the VETERANS and service members should be the ones getting the day off, but what do I know.
Anyway, I felt pretty blergh the whole day. I really, really would have preferred to be curled up on the couch with my dog emptying my DVR, rather than working. But each time I would have such a thought, it would come with a rush of impatience at myself, because JEEZ, I have nothing to complain about.
There are families enduring months and months of separation as their soldiers are deployed.There are thousands of veterans without jobs, without healthcare, some without homes. There are thousands of active duty servicemen and women who can’t afford to feed their families because they make so little money. There are thousands of family members who are never coming home.
That makes grousing about having to go to work at my cushy office job seem pretty pathetic.
So, when it came time for my running buddy and I to lace up and head out, I knew, despite how badly I wanted to skip, that I needed to suck it up. On a blustery, unpleasant night, we did a couple of loops around an urban park. We ran faster than I think we’ve run before, and I was kind of grumpy about that. My legs hurt. But I decided about halfway through I had better quit bitching, given that I was running on safe city streets rather than on the deck of an aircraft carrier or on a desert base somewhere. With a little help from some very loud Katy Perry, I pushed up the last hill and stood gasping, thinking about how I couldn’t wait to get back to my apartment and take this picture:
See, last weekend, my brother, sister-in-law, and another friend ran a 5K along the boardwalk in Virginia Beach. It was a “virtual” 5K, where we paid a registration and got a medal and stuff, but ran on our own time and place. We chose a veterans awareness race for our “cause.” That I ran it with my active duty sister-in-law, who is about to deploy, was pretty humbling, and pretty cool. We didn’t get the medals in the mail until after the race was over, so there was no obligatory sharing of our hardware.
Tonight seemed an appropriate time to remedy that. Our boardwalk 5K, and tonight’s run, definitely had more meaning than most.
So, thank you to all who have served and are serving. I ran faster for you tonight. It’s not much, in fact, it’s really nothing, but it’s what I did.