1. Waiting for my bus this April at Union Station in Chicago, feeling a rush of nostalgia and depression, I turned on an old fall back anthem to misery, and intended to listen to it on repeat for the next four hours, when I looked up and saw a small pack of extremely fast male runners race past the intersecting street. After a minute more small groups began to run by, and police officers pulled “Do Not Cross” signs across the road. As it turned out, our bus had not prepared for this and was completely unable to get to us, and what was at first a few extraordinary packs of runners turned out to be a full fledged marathon. The full load of passengers rolled luggage and heaved bags up to the side of the race, being told by a bus attendant to make a mad dash across, but being told by the police that was a terrible and illegal idea. So we stood there, runners going by asking us to make some noise, met by an unenthusiastic “Wooo…” and a splatter of clapping. I burst into laughter and tears, at the complete ridiculousness of life, put my Ipod away, held hands to each side of my mouth and bellowed out my praise and encouragement to them.
2. Almost all of my memory has been recovered since losing consciousness during the half marathon, with the exception of the period between falling and waking up in the hospital. My last memory is this. Having spotted the ten mile marker around the bend, I checked in with my pace and my body. My stopwatch read 1:31. But my muscles felt numb with heat. My head was light and weary and my mind was cloudy. I wondered how I would ever finish the final three miles in such a condition. I poured the last of my water bottles onto my burning feet, and fixed my eyes on the marker: 10, it read. I thought, I will decide what to do when I get there, and with that, I took a deep breath, lunged forward, and barreled toward the bend in a full sprint, relying only on a dangerously powerful and boundless volition to guide me.