This Christmas, circumstances beyond my control, had me home alone not being able to visit my friends or family. So I slept in, lazily woke and finally went out for a run. I planned on doing an easy 8.25, or 5 loops around the Liberty Park, my familiar haunt. I would say countless miles have been run around that 1.5 mile loop but because I have a record of every single mile I have run in the past 4 years meticulously and lovingly noted in a spreadsheet it would only take a little bit of math to see how many miles exactly. But, let's just say thousands.
I have been ramping up my miles in preparation for my 204 mile run in April, and am on pace for the most miles I have ever run in one month ever this December. As such, I have done many miles in a slightly tired or sore state. That has been the point. But I just did one run yesterday, Christmas Eve, of 7 miles and so was feeling rather spry today.
Each loop was faster than the next and even in the 21 degree weather, the sun was shining brightly and I was feeling good. Then I saw Henry.
When I first moved to SLC, my morning routine consisted of a 3.75 mile run before work, every day I was here. That job ended, my life and work routine went with it and rarely did I venture out for 7 AM runs anymore. The biggest shame of that was that I no longer saw Henry. Easily in his late 70s, Henry was a staple of my early morning runs. Regardless of the weather, Henry would be out at the park doing his loops in the opposite direction I did mine.
But here he was. My already great feeling run got even better. I stopped to talk to him briefly and expressed surprise at seeing him out here at noon. "Had to make sure all the morning stuff was taken care of first," he said obviously speaking about Christmas presents and the like. I most assuredly have to figure out a way to interview him someday. But this time, after all of the previous times of seeing Henry and never getting his last name, I got it: McNabb.
Not to be too melancholy but in the past 18 months or so since I had last seen him, I wondered if Henry was still around, alive and walking (briskly, I might add.) Well, he was and was looking as fit as ever.
That was my Christmas present. Walk on, Henry!