Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Veterans Day trifecta of awesomeness

Let's get yogurt!
There are three things for which I will happily get up extra early: running, adventures and people. So when I found myself in a car full of friends at 5:30am heading for runs and food and celebrations, I knew it was going to be a good day. Thanks to Pete for organizing our run-eat-run-eat-run-eat honor the veterans adventure.

At 6am, Pete, Steven, Bob, Danielle and I joined the RIT and U of R NROTC Unit and Veterans Alliance for their Veterans Day run. We ran from the U of R campus to Highland Park, where there was a short ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and then back to U of R. It's heartbreaking to think of all the lives lost to past and current wars, and even more so to realize that these cadets, so young and full of promise, could very well meet the same fate one day.

Handsome dudes everywhere!
After the U of R run, Pete, Steven, Bob and I went to the Veterans Day breakfast at RIT, where we saw more moving speeches and touching videos, and where Pete and Steven were interviewed by Channel 10 News (!) about their service in the Navy and Army respectively. At 11am, the 4 of us and Prem ran the Veterun 5K race at Mendon Ponds to benefit the Honor Flight of Rochester (We stopped by Jenn's place on the way to Mendon but she was in the shower, which totally foiled our plans to kidnap her. I mean, um, invite her to join us). The race was faster and more fun than I was expecting. All my training lately has been primarily long, slow distance (because LSD is my jam!) but then I do a 5K and I'm reminded how good it feels to run fast (well, fast for me. My race pace would be someone else's easy pace). Though in hindsight, I think eating eggs at breakfast was a bad choice because I had to have the "throw up or shut up" conversation with my stomach during this race. After the post-race food (I did not have a cheeseburger so I cannot comment on that, but the cookies were pretty decent), we visited Alison at work and then got frozen yogurt. Sooooo good!

At this point we all went our separate ways, but then met back up again for the TrailsRoc Tuesday Trot at Webster Park and post-run donuts (thanks to Jenn!). Three runs, good friends, good times: the trifecta of awesomeness!

Today was my first time ever really celebrating Veterans Day and I enjoyed hearing the stories of both friends' and strangers' military careers. I am always fascinated by other people's lives and stories, the incredible scope of their insights and the profundity of their strengths. Though I am as pacifist as they come, I wholeheartedly support the people who have served and who currently serve in the military. I wish that no one ever had to make the sacrifices they have made. But it is in part due to their sacrifices that I am able to enjoy such an extremely fortunate life, largely untouched by violence and tragedy. And I can't be anything other than eternally grateful for that.

Lyric of the moment: "I got soul but I'm not a soldier. I got soul but I'm not a soldier. Time. Truth. Hearts...."

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