Sep 27, 2011

The moments

I have the good fortune of being able to run through a country side filled with horse ranches. I love watching these beautiful animals in fields along the route. Usually they ignore me, and sometimes they stare; but recently two of them decided to join me. They galloped down to the fence, and raced alongside me, before sprinting ahead. Within a few hundred metres, however, they were forced to stop, because of another fence. As I passed them standing there, I could see by the look in their eyes how much they wanted to keep going.  Horses get it.

I’ll never forget that moment.
It was stage 5 of the Gobi March, which was an 80km day, and the fact I’d already covered the distance of a marathon was of little consolation. The intense heat of the Turpan Basin (also known in China as “the oven”) was causing some serious nausea. I had just thrown up for the second time in the past 20 minutes and was beginning to worry about hydration. Worse, it was making it tough to spot the small pink flags marking the route through this unforgiving desert terrain and I had to back-track on more than one occasion.  I needed to get out of this stuff and needed to do it soon.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, I stumbled out of the heavy, flour like sand and onto a single lane gravel road. This meant I was less than 8km from the 55km checkpoint, but the surface heat was well into the 50’s (Celsius) and I could feel my swollen feet beginning to cook. As I shuffled down the road, cursing the sun, I approached a large group of local men who were watching me like I was the strangest thing they had ever seen. Despite how I felt—and I’m sure looked—all I could do was smile at their reaction, which then made them smile and laugh, too. Before I knew it they had coaxed me in amongst them by insisting (through gestures) that I eat some fresh cantaloupe they had. How could I say no?  So I made the sacrifice and agreed, then proceeded to devour the fruit as fast as it was handed to me. Suffice to say, it was the best cantaloupe the world has ever known. 

I’ll never forget that moment.
Yesterday was my 38th birthday. Tomorrow I’ll be getting blood work for my three-month oncologist appointment next week. My mom is winding down her chemotherapy treatments and soon she’ll have surgery to remove the tumour. 

In THIS moment, as I’m typing, foremost on my thoughts is the importance of living in the here and now. As much as I love reflecting on wonderful memories, and about the amazing things I have planned for the future, I can’t forget about the present. Time, my friends, is a non-renewable resource and we are all way more precious than we realize.
I hope I never forget this moment.