I ran Race for the Cure this morning in Balboa Park in San Diego, thinking about my mom. I have been running Race for the Cure for a number of years, in many different places, including on the campus of the educational testing center in Princeton, New Jersey. Few people have heard of Princeton’s educational testing center, but that’s where all those darn SATs and GREs come from.
I have no pictures from the race today or of everyone dressed in pink because I don’t carry a camera or a phone with me when I run. Near the start line, one of the women dressed in pink asked if she could take a picture with me and some other guy because she thought one of us was going to win. I guess I still look like a fast runner after all these years. (I beat the other guy, but didn’t quite win the race.) Some races are not about pictures or phones or running fast. Some races are about pink ribbons, about celebrating life, remembering people who are not with us anymore, and running with your figurative heart, if not with your literal one.
I miss my mom. She came to so many of my races, dating all the way back to when I was a cocky kid in middle school because I ran 59 seconds for 400 meters in 8th grade. Now I’m much older and slower and have reluctantly learned that running is so much more than a time on a clock. By running, I continue to do what my mom took so much joy in watching me do. Today, as in all days, my running is an extension of her and her own love for sports.
Running can be a selfish endeavor. But every once in a while, we should all have a run or a race that we devote to someone else.