This morning, I needed to run without question. I needed every one of the miles that I fought for in the rain. I don’t generally like to run in the rain but I didn’t have a choice. When I started out, it was dry but clouds in the distance-nothing new in the early morning as light begins. There was a nice breeze blowing in the humidity and 70F weather. I ran as hard as I could and as fast as I could.
Midway through my run, I head the sound of thunder. Sometimes, that distant thunder sound is a jet taking off from a nearby airport but I knew that this was thunder. I saw a couple of lightening flashes and knew that I would be caught in a quickly gathering storm as I was next to the lake. I continued my run because I had to continue.
The rain started to pour in sheets with deep rivulets in the streets. I was dressed in my running shorts and a bright orange shirt because I run in the street rather than on the sidewalk. I was alone with the darkness before light, the heavy downpour punctuated with thunder and lightening. Usually, during thunderstorms, I hide but this time I ran and kept running, a piece of me not caring about the noise and lightening flashes which were over my head.
Water started to pool under my feet but I kept going in spite of my tears, my hair and my clothing soaked. I knew that if I kept going through this storm, I could keep going through anything tears or no tears. Yes, the extreme downpour hides my tears and I won’t apologize for them. I am a strong and independent woman who is coming to terms with her solitary life, one mile and one stride at a time.
I chose this life and I choose to keep running in the heavy rain, the wind, the thunder and the lightening. I will stand my ground and I will fly to heights, even soar as I keep going. I refuse to allow my head to stop me. This was my last run before I fly out to Chicago to run the runways at Midway Airport tomorrow morning; my church, my meditation and my prayer. Running a runway that one has touched down upon hundreds of times is an experience that every pilot seeks. I was honored to be among those who will do this on an early fall day in the windy city.
I learned much about myself as I ran along through this early morning storm. I was alone and I can achieve alone. I will fly very early tomorrow morning and I will achieve something that I am honored to do. Yes, more than a few years ago, I roller bladed the runways at the Johnson Space Center outside Houston. Tomorrow, I run the tarmac at Chicago Midway Airport in honor of those who fly and those who have flown.
This morning, I conquered one of my fears that dated back to my childhood. Tomorrow, I will experience an honor with my fellow pilots and I am ready to do this. After the early dawn run, we will gather on Lake Michigan for fellowship and a ceremony to honor those who fly over Midway as aviators in the war. My Pop was support services for the Army Air Corps but was not a pilot. Like me, he was a physician but I have a bit of a sense that he might be proud of the aviator that I have become. I also feel that he might be proud that I stayed out in the thunderstorm and continued to run, to honor my late father.