My older brother died 10 years ago tonight. He didn’t run. He played baseball. I ran. I understood baseball. He didn’t understand running. And he’d make fun of it. That’s what older brothers do. When they care about you they make fun of you.
And he made fun of my running endlessly. He laughed about the seeming mindlessness of it and the idiocy of doing lap after lap and mile after mile. He would say how utterly boring it was to watch Track meets. Watching dudes just run in a circle? Seriously?
But he showed up for my races. And he stood and cheered like he saw a Grand Slam every time I took a starting line. I always heard him when he came. I always knew he was there. And he always congratulated me and asked me about the other kids in the race and why I made my move when I did. Then he made fun of me.
But I knew he was trying as hard as he could to understand. And I was running as hard as I could hoping he would.
I’m not sure if he ever really understood why I ran – even at the end. But I know he’s still watching. And I’m still running. We’re both still trying. That’s a lesson I learned from my older brother.
Never stop trying.
I’ll be thinking of that on my run. Tonight.