It takes very little to take my breath away. The simple act of leaning over to tie my shoes is enough to keep me panting for a good minute or so. I used to climb the stairs at work and in my house two steps at a time. It has been several months now since I stopped doing that. There are other things I used to do that are just too laborious for my body. I quit riding my bike last year when the first snow fell. I just didn't know it yet. Twice this year I pumped up the tires on my bike and I had to sit down before I could get on it to ride a block to the store. I miss the active me.
"Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you, " Lois said. "Amy D. is running a race this weekend. They are running from Logan, Utah, to Park City. Every year they run for someone. This year they are running for you."
"They are running in your honor, and to raise awareness for organ donation."
I thought about this and it made me gulp. I even had the start of tears forming in my eye. And for a moment I am back in my garage pumping up my tires and I feel like I'm finally going for a ride. "This sounds way cool," I am thinking to myself.
"That sounds way cool," I say out loud.
"Their team is all having a barbecue tomorrow and they would like it if we could stop by."
I feel a little shy and apprehensive as we enter the house. The team is laughing and joking and it sounds like they are all having fun. Amy introduces our family to the the team members that are there and we sit down and have burgers. I am unfamiliar with the race and I ask Amy how long it is.
"It's 188 miles."
"Oh my gosh!" I say.
"Yeah, it's a long ways," Amy laughs.
The run is called the Ragnar Relay's Wasatch Back and their team is called, 'Dude, Where's My Van?' Amy has been running this race from the very beginning. This is its seventh year. The team consists of 12 people and there are 3 legs. Each runner does a particular leg and then another team member takes over. They do this three times. This year there are 13,000 participants.
As Lois and I asked how they all got together and started doing this, they began reminiscing about their past events and told us stories that had us rolling on the floor. The apprehension that I had earlier was long forgotten. This group of people -- this team -- had left me smiling.
I am moved by the kindness that these strangers have extended. They are running because they love it. But that I am to be part of it has me running along beside them.
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