I am a bit of a loner. By design, nature, nurture or what have you, I have basically lived by myself for my entire adult life, except when it was prescribed by my collegiate dormitory system. I have found a sport that I plan on participating in for the rest of my life that requires no teammates and thus suits this certain type of aloneness that I enjoy. I do love people. I love meeting them. I love talking to them. And I love when I can go home and be by myself.

My family is very small. Even before some older members passed away, the entire maternal side of my family was outnumbered by most of my friend’s immediate siblings. With my only brother being so much older than me, I have more or less been an only child. I was leaning towards a life in a clandestine government agency at one point prior to going in the direction I am now. My point is I am used to being by myself. But I love my friends. And I love my family. I could not tell you my mother’s favorite color or my father’s first car or any of the other things that others feel make you “close” to your family. But we are close.

Recently, I was asked by the creator of the website marathonmedals.com if I minded if he took pictures of the finisher’s medals for all my marathons. I happily obliged even though I was missing my very first marathon medal. I had not lost it. Rather, after finishing my first marathon, an abysmal effort on my part, I had called my parents to let them know I was alive.  Unfortunately, not everyone I cared about was. You see, my grandmother had rather unexpectedly passed away during the night. Right then and there I decided I was burying my marathon medal with my grandmother. The gentleman taking the pictures of my medals mentioned I could always ask the race if they would send me another. I had thought about this before but never went through with it, thinking perhaps it would diminish the sacrifice I had made for my grandmother’s memory.

However, after contemplating it further I reached out to the then-director of Harrisburg Marathon, my first marathon ever. Right before Christmas a package arrived and in it contained the medal. I decided not to open it until Christmas morning, treating it as a Christmas present to myself. It was a great gift, as I had zero recollection of what the medal looked like previously. I then promptly ran across the street for a pre-planned 26.2-mile run around the 1.5-mile loop of Liberty Park in Salt Lake City. It gave me a solid three plus hours to be in touch with myself and my family, at least in my thoughts as I was not able to get home to be with them.