I often find myself grateful that I'm a runner. That feeling was especially strong last week, when I ran my last race of 2009.
Especially because that race wasn't an actual sanctioned race, but more accurately, a race through the airport.
I'd just finished a challenging, but hopefully productive trip to New Jersey for work and was eager to get home. The meeting ran over, so I missed my first flight and got booked on a different airline. The flight from Newark to Chicago was delayed... and delayed... and delayed.
Slowly but surely, that 45 minute layover evaporated.
The pilot announced that many flights leaving Chicago were also delayed, so "All bets are off." As soon as we landed, I checked the flight to Moline on my phone and saw that, sure enough, it was delayed, too.
I had a chance.
I got off the plane as quickly as possible, groaned when I saw that I needed to get to a far away concourse, and started running.
I ran through Ohare airport in a long skirt, tall boots, and pearls, with my heavy laptop bag on my back. I ran past legions of amused looking travelers, along moving walkways, and up escalators.
All told, I ran a distance of probably a mile. It was really hard racing in my high heeled boots (feeling a rip in my stockings) with my zillion pound computer, and there was certainly no guarantee I'd make it before they closed the doors. I wanted to stop and walk, to just give up.
But because I'm a runner, I can do more than just physically move myself from Point A to Point B quickly. More importantly, I know how to keep going even when I want to quit. I know how to motivate myself and push through. I thought of Steve and Jack and how if I kept running, then maybe I'd see them that night, but that if I quit, I definitely would not.
You know how this story ends: I made it. I made it because I'm a runner.