I received bad news tonight. A colleague and friend of mine passed away from cancer. I first met Tim two years ago in Library School at OU. Over the next few years I had Tim in several of my classes and grew closer to him. Tim was “selfless.” He invested much of his time and energy into learning about others by asking questions and listening. This particular quality i’ve tried to adopt from Tim. Tim worked as a librarian for the OKC public schools . He was a middle-aged African American male that was making a difference in poverty stricken schools. He will be sorely missed by me and by society.
Upon learning of his death, I immediately grabbed my Asics and took off running. It’s amazing, when learning of horrible news a smoker lights a cigarette, a drinker grabs the bottle, and a runner grabs shoes. I had my Garmin on and so I took off running at a fairly quick pace and finally stopped after I had run 13 miles. This run allowed me to think and to put the news into a little perspective. It was also a time to mourn. Running also gives me a chance to be able to control something when life seems out of control.
Life is fragile. We are not guaranteed a tomorrow. I’m not trying to be morbid with you reader but I do feel that we need to wake up each morning with the attitude that we need to live fully. Not the belief that this may be the day that we die. We all know the Thoreau quote about “reach down deep and suck out the marrow of lfie.” We need to reach down deep daily. Several times a day. No matter what we are doing, we can do it meaningfully. This applies to playing, working, and running. This does not mean that we have to go out and leave it all out there on the course everytime but it does mean that we need to do it happily and with fulfillment.
Perhaps I need a psychologist but there are many reasons why I run but one of the reasons is because of my fear of not leading a fulfilled life. In a way, I want to get as many “kicks” while i’m able to “kick.” I do not want to be an old man reflecting back on his life and have nothing to reflect on. Running helps fulfill me. It helps give me confidence and happiness. To me, running is living full. It’s “reaching down deep and sucking out the marrow of life.”
At Tim’s funeral, many great things will be said and they all will be true. He was one of those beings that enriched the lives of all whom he came into contact with. My thoughts and prayers are with Tim’s family in this time of sadness.