daily preciousness

Monday, October 08, 2007

running wounded

Ran the Army 10-miler yesterday and I had a strange experience. It was a very emotional day for me. I think it might have been the endorphins playing crazy with my melon, but I'm not sure. It was 8 AM when the four apache helicopters flew just a hundred feet above us. We were lined up on the highway, hopping, stretching and rolling our heads around.

They zoomed over, raising the hairs on the back of my neck and giving me chills to be near so much power. The chaplain on the PA announced the start of the race for the "wounded warriors." These were the guys who ran with their prosthetic limbs and wounded hearts. They struggled with each step because their bodies had been torn apart by this war. I passed a few by mile marker one. And my heart just broke for them. Tearing up a bit, I wiped salty tears from my eyes and wondered what it must be like to run on these plastic and silicon replacements parts. One of them had a T-shirt that read, "The Bionic Man." He got a lot of cheers. Good for him -- take a sad song and make it better, like the Beatles instructed.

He bounced along on oddly shaped, springy half moons of composite material. He reminded me of a satyr or some such creature because of the odd shape of the synthetic feet. This year's race had a record number of them. I cheered them on because I can't begin to put myself in their place. Could you imagine what it must be like to experience something like that?

This morning, I ran across a gif image of an IED roadside bomb and I could visualize what some of these guys might have experienced during the last few seconds of wholeness. How horrific. An unbelievable mushroom of earth and fire. Force created to destroy. To tear apart limb from limb. Drawn and quartered by detonation.

Now playing on iTunes: Delphinium Blue - Dupont Circle 4am


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