I had so much fun on my Torrey Pines run last Monday, that I decided to go back. So much is going on with me right now, that I need every drop of hope and relief I can get. I had a plan--run the trail, wet toes in ocean, clear head and go home. Of course, things didn't go according to my plan but they did get a little better. As I turned into the parking lot of the Torrey Pines golf course, I saw Anthony. I almost crashed my car into a tree.
Anthony is one of my teammates this season. While he's technically not my mentee, he had been running with me and listening to my stories on Saturdays. Two months ago, he casually mentioned that he would miss seeing me (yes, I was flattered, sue me) for a while. He was scheduled for chemo--4-6 weeks of it. It broke my heart that I had run with him for weeks, and he took his last run to tell me. I offered to help with whatever he needed during his treatments--food, reading materials, whatever. He asked me to email and keep him up to date on the team's progress. This was familiar. I had done this before, I could do it again.
So for the next few weeks, I would send him team updates and stories. Crazy, random stories. He'd respond days later with a charming comment and a promise to try to make it to the next week's session and visit. He never could because apparently chemo is a life draining form of liquid torture.
And that's why I almost crashed my car tonight as I drove up and saw him standing there with the group for a weekly run. It was his first time back and he wanted to see how far he could make it. I jumped out of my running car and wanted to welcome him to the group. He hugged me so hard I could barely breathe. I wasn't expecting the kiss either, but apparently I was missed. Once I found my feet and greeted everyone else, I became the butt of the car handling jokes which have followed me from last season. I wasn't bothered. I have gone too long this season without being openly mocked. Plus, my teammate is back and he looked great. He couldn't run at all tonight; his muscles weak from almost two months of chemo and his lungs out of practice. But he's back with the team. His mentor and I walked the trail with him; I never made it to the ocean and I didn't clear my very muddled head. But I saw a friend who is on his way back to health and that was lovely.