Friday, the end of a busy week, and the start of a busy weekend.
I haven't run at all this week, partially because I rode twice, partially because I had a hard time finding time to get it done, and partially because I have been thinking about a well-regarded therapist and department head in our company who ran a half marathon on Sunday, and passed away Monday evening after suffering a major heart attack at the end of the race.
She left her husband and two small children behind. I did not know her well, as she worked in a building a couple of hours from here, and we mostly interacted (when we did) by email. I've read lots of her therapy documentation, though, and she was a good physical therapist. I'm so sorry for her family; I have heard she was an avid runner, trained for this event, and had run track in high school. So it wasn't like she just up and decided to "go the distance", so to speak; she knew what she was doing, as well as any of us who take on a project like that and train on our own. She was younger than me, not even forty. I can't stop thinking about her and the end of her race, which finished, more than likely, with a cluster of emergency personnel frantically trying to restart her heart and get the blood moving to her brain again.
I know all the platitudes that apply here...."you never know when it's your time"....."at least she died doing something she enjoyed"....."there was nothing that could have been done differently"....."sometimes these things just happen"....
None of that is particularly comforting. I don't love to run. I don't want to die doing that. I don't want to die in some horse-related accident, either, even though I do LOVE riding. So I am reconsidering the running these days, particularly in light of the fact that I have been struggling with running in general lately -- pain, fatigue, difficulty getting into a comfortable pace. I have not ever had real trouble breathing, or felt bad in a cardiopulmonary way, while running, but it's the unknown that gets me. What if? What if there is something about me that could be a factor, and I don't know it? I'm sure I'd be fine, but I'm not sure enough to risk it.
And yes, I do know, and realize, that risk is a part of a life well-lived. I voluntarily sit on the backs of 1000+ pound animals and ask them to do things that *I* say they need to do.
And there is another thing....what kind of god loves his people so much that he would deprive some of them of one of them THEY love so much? Come on, my fervent believers, explain this one. And do it without giving me the "God needed her in Heaven more", or "Her time on this earth was done". That's crap. Her time was not done, she had a family to raise and a husband to love, and who loved her, for years to come. Her friends, her colleagues, her extended family....they were not done with her life. Why was she? Is it simply that her biological life was over, as short as it was? Or do we explain this by saying there was a higher purpose of some kind? I'm not buying it. How can that be? Going 'home' to her "reward"? I cannot imagine a greater reward than being able to stay with her family, see her kids grow up, play sports, take Prom pictures, go to graduations, weddings, maybe have grandchildren someday.
The whole thing just sucks. And I have to review some of her therapy documentation today, so I can write an appeal letter for a case she worked on, and I don't want to. But I'm going to, it's my job. Wish she was still working at hers.