My heart is heavy today, and I’m not sure I even feel like writing about this – but I feel drawn to jot down a few words.
Yesterday my dear friend, Clair’s, niece (16 years old) collapsed at the finish line of the Shamrock Half Marathon in Virginia Beach. She died soon thereafter. These incidents are rare enough that they are newsworthy, so you might have seen it online or on TV.
I know. There are no words.
I did not know my friend’s niece, Cameron. But, Clair is like a sister to me. When she hurts, I hurt.
As a parent I have that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. The shock. The suddenness. The tragedy of a life ended so young. The milestones that will never be reached. The emptiness and sorrow those parents will feel for ever more. FOREVER.
All I can think is that the sadness of life can be so overwhelming.
We know running is not deadly in and of itself. Life is deadly. It is going to happen to each of us one day. I go back to these stats:
- 1/150,000 will die running a marathon (it is 40% of that for half marathoners) –most often linked to a congenital heart defect in younger runners and clogged arteries in older runners.
- 1/88 will die in a car accident
- 1/28 will die from a stroke
- 1/6 will die from heart disease
Running, within moderation, has been shown to reduce heart disease and to promote overall better health. I think I’ll take my chances on running and doing what I love.
I am a broken record, but these tragedies should remind us to not waste time. To make sure we are loving and appreciating those around us. To make things right if they are not right. To learn to not take ourselves so seriously, and to open up to life. To truly understand that small acts of kindness can make a huge difference.
In Cameron’s obituary, the family asks everyone to reflect on II Timothy Chapter 4 verse 7: "I have fought the good fight to the end; I have run the race to the finish: I have kept the faith."
RIP beautiful girl.