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Precious Time

J. Roberts
Sep 25, 2016 · 3 min read

I set out to run 14 miles this morning. I got an early start at 5:30 and by mile nine the heat and humidity got the better of me. Literally drenched from head to toe with my socks squishing inside my shoes from sweat, I waived the white towel and decided to walk the rest of the way home. This meant five miles of walking. I thought I was taking a shortcut home through an unfamiliar neighborhood, but I ended up getting lost (I run without my phone).

The sun still hasn’t come up and I’m weaving in and out of sleepy little neighborhoods trying to figure out the shortest way home. All alone with my thoughts — which by now begin to betray me, I can’t help but think of how much time I’ve wasted. Why couldn’t I trudge on and just finish the 14-mile route as planned? Uber is out of the question without my phone. I consider asking a stranger for a ride, but I’m so soaked from sweat that no one in their right mind would let me in their car. I also consider flagging down somebody in a pickup so that I can ride in the back, but I’m reminded I’m in Dallas and that sort of behavior is foreign at best.

I decide to continue on and just accept the fact that the morning is lost. I’m out of water and my legs are numb and ready for a break, but at last, a street I recognize. I’m way off course and still three miles from home. And then the rain starts. It’s a welcome site and I even lift my head up and stick out my tongue to try and get a drink, like you see in the movies. This is an epic fail. Three drops might have found my mouth. A decent shower fills the streets and at one point I almost got a drink from a drainage pipe that was pouring out clean water onto a street with a fresh batch of asphalt.

All told, it was a nine-mile run and an eight-mile walk. I finally make it home. I’m frustrated, spent, aggravated, you name it. And then I see the news when I pick up my phone, a young baseball star dies overnight at age 24 from a boating accident.

Suddenly, my morning of inconvenience seems not only overly selfish, but even ridiculous. It will be a morning that I’ll remember for quite some time. Had I been able to run the 14 miles as planned, it would have just been another day. And another day is something Jose Fernandez would love to have right now.

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