September 11th is a day that will never be "just another day." It will always be tainted with the horror and fear that resulted on a blue sky morning 12 years ago. It hit me last night as I was running on the treadmill that I spent that morning out on a run just before I heard the dreadful news. I was starting my sophomore year of college at Bucknell University. On Tuesdays, I had class at 10 am and I often would workout before class. On that particular morning, I decided to go for a run. I was on a good running streak and often did 2-4 miles with my girlfriends, often chatting the whole way. But let's call a spade a spade, we were mostly running to work off the candy we picked up at the C-store, late night pizza or cheap wine...there were no half marathons here, friends!
These were the days of disc-mans and other big clunky music-player gadgets. I had a water-resistant CD player that was encased in rubber...a nod to my former swimming days. For whatever reason, I settled on my Moby CD that morning, thinking to myself I needed some calm on this run. Call it intuition, foresight or just a coincidence, it was most definitely necessary.
After my 3 mile run, I headed back into my dorm, passing the common room on the way to my hall. I noticed quite a few students gathered around the TV, which was definitely not the norm. I stopped and gasped at the footage of the first plane hitting one of the towers. It was haunting, shocking and quite frankly, unbelievable. It was hard to comprehend. I quickly headed down the hall to catch my roommate, Bethany before she left for class. She was from Long Island and as I suspected, hadn't heard the news. She ran down the hall to the common room to see the news on TV and I was headed to grab a quick shower and find out if my 10AM class was cancelled. The rest of the day was a blur.
So back to running...kind of....there are lots of "heroes" races that I've seen, benefitting service members of all kinds - military, police, fire, national guard and the like. These are great ways to say thank you and show your support for those that were so heroic on one of our country's most challenging days in recent history. I've often found that the running community can be a great show of solidarity and I expect nothing less on the twelfth anniversary of that terrible morning.