Tuesday, September 11, 2007

a day to remember

It's appropriate, though not planned, that I didn't sit down to write this until today. Over the weekend I participated in the sixth annual 9/11 5K race in Arlington, Virginia. It was my second year doing it, and though I didn't have a running partner, I had another exceptional experience. There were an estimated 4000 people running that day, and I finished in 1810th place. I got a medal and a cool T-shirt, but it's the actual event that I'll always remember.

As I was running, and struggling against the limitations of my own body and lack of training, I kept reminding myself to "run my own race." It's easy for me to get caught up in the competitive nature of sports and push myself way over the limit. I was determined to finish (in less than the 45 minutes my husband had realistically predicted). I developed a mantra that seemed to fit the moment and the meaning of the race: we're all running our own race, but we're all in the together. This seems an appropriate summary of my experience as an American. We take pride in our independence, yet rely on each other in times of need. It was a very patriotic event, the start finish line was made by putting two fire engines back to back and hanging an American flag down the middle. I couldn't help but feel proud of being there among so many others who cared to remember.

So, my conclusion was that it's important to take action to remember important events in your life. For me, as for millions, this day changed everything. It's easy to think about, remember, and just as easy to move on in our daily lives. Take action to remember. Do something that physically marks the significant moments in your life-for yourself. So that day, I didn't learn about technology or literature, but an important lesson about myself.

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