Today I ran the hardest run I've ever probably run thus far. Harder than fighting varying temps in Texas, harder than running injured, harder than that first run when I started running. Today was my tribute run for my step brother, J.J. Savage. It's been two years since he was killed in Iraq, and I felt that a longer run in the midst of my own personal roller coaster would be the only appropriate way to honor him today. I had planned out a 5 mile run for today on a new extended route bringing me into unfamiliar territory of both environment and endurance.
I started out just fine; glad of my decision to run today. My mind cleared as always and about mile 2, the emotions took over. I fought tears for a tenth of a mile and then crumbled, literally, on the side of the road. The feelings of loss and sadness for our family overtook me to a point to where I could not take yet another step. After wiping tears away and sitting in the sun, the wind whispered to me..."Get up. Get up and run."
And I did. I got up, took one step and another. I realized that with every step I ran, I embodied our family surviving, moving on despite the loss, despite the sadness. In a sense, this run was not just a tribute to him, his service, his courage. It was also a run to our family and every single person who knew and loved him that keep living life, just as he would want.