Up the hill from my home is a cemetery opening onto a foothills trail that leads to a high school track, where a runner long sidelined might begin again, might test against age and injury the possibility of recovery, or at least resilience. And then might walk home through the cemetery, but not before stopping to report her progress, or difficulties, or impossible dreams, to the runner buried there, who encouraged her in life, and now does so in death.
When I stand at Mike’s grave, I do not imagine his fine, fit physique laid out in a suit, six feet beneath my running shoes. I do not imagine the stillness of his form, that dynamic body eternally motionless. I remember Mike in workout gear, encouraging me during hill repeats, during pre-dawn group runs, during muddy trail races and 10Ks on hilly asphalt.
When Mike died at 47 a year…
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