This week I was painfully reminded that there are things worse than death... and sometimes that's living.
I watch my wife's grandmother (who was one of "those" grandmothers who was more of a mix of a mom and a best girlfriend) struggle and gasp for air, I'll spare you the horrendous details, before she finally passed.
Grief is all around us. Pain is ever present. Stress is inescapable. There is seemingly always something to fear.
These truths remind me why I run. No, really. I don't run to lose weight, I honestly don't run to stay in shape (although that is of course nice), I don't run to get a good tan or to enjoy the camaraderie of other runners, I don't even run so that I can write this blog. I run to survive. I run to escape.
For me, when the world closes in, I run like he**. I run to feel alive, feel alone with my thoughts or sometimes to be completely void of thought all together. For those miles, I run out from under the crushing stress, I run away from the fear that's chasing me, I run from the grief, and I run into the void of my own thoughts - into the sound of Nothing but my breathing... in and out, in and out, in and out... and for that brief time, everything else disappears.