I went for a run on Wednesday, 9/12/2001. I did not know what else to do. I was not the runner I am now, nor was I training for a race, but I went out for a run. I was a full-time stay-at-home mom for my 2.5 year-old son. My now ex-husband had gotten home from Midtown Manhattan late the night before. I had spent that day fielding frantic phone calls from family and friends, looking up at an eerily silent clear blue sky, watching my innocent son play in the yard, completely unaware. I wondered, worried, questioned and was so so sad.
I did that 4-mile loop because I needed to do something. I needed to stay away from the TV and find some clarity. This was almost impossible, with the indescribable smell, almost like an electrical fire, hovering in the air and the plume of smoke still visible over the bay. I briefly wondered if I should be breathing the air, but I really didn't care. Ours and nearby towns lost an impossible amount of people...fathers, mothers, sons and daughters. It was a numbing blur for a long time.
Today, 9 years later, I ran a 20-miler with Jen, my fearless running partner for this upcoming marathon, who jokingly blames me for "putting her through this." I dedicated this run to all of those who were, and continue to be, affected by this anniversary. It was tough at times, but I just kept remembering. After it was over, laying on the grass, looking up at a clear blue NY sky exactly like it was 9 years ago, I said a prayer of gratitude for my ability to run, to continue to put my feet on the earth, to still be living this life, that may look different from what I thought it would be in my 40th year, but it is amazing in so many ways.