Tuesday, January 4, 2011

When Harry Met Rabbi

After I became more religious, or at the very least, took on the trappings of being more religious, my mother OB”M always wanted to know who the culprit was. Who was it, she wondered, who had caused me to “flip out”. I never could give her an answer. Not only because I feared she would track him down and kill him, but because there was no culprit. My decision to change was a product of many experiences. No one event or person caused me to change.

It’s the same way with my running. I can’t point to one event or person that caused me to cross the gap from being a non-exercising “fat tub of goo” (to quote David Letterman) to becoming a runner who dreams of qualifying for Boston. There was my being diagnosed with Diabetes, there was Chai Lifeline, the organization for which I signed up to run my first half and then there was Harry. As I toyed with idea of taking up running, an idea that seemed fanciful at the time, I feared dying mid-run due to diabetes related complications. I Googled “running” and “Diabetes” and out came Harry Jacobs. Well, not literally, but after a few clicks, I was reading his blog about running and diabetes. This led to an e-mail, and then another, and before you knew it, we were friends. At least as much as you can be when you live eight billion miles away from each other.

There’s no reason we ever should have or would have met. Although we are both Jewish, our approach to Judaism is very different and there is an age difference as well. Not only that, but Harry Lives closer to the Arctic Circle than I do to DC. A place called Yellow Knife. For those of you are not experts in geography, that is in the Northwest Territories. For those of you who are not experts in geography, that is in Canada. Still, the internet brought us together. We were friends who had never met.

Until this past Sunday. Harry and his wife came to New York for the New Years. I don’t remember who suggested it, but we decided to go for a run in Central Park. There we were, two guys from very different worlds, who together had lost about a person or two of weight, running and schmoozing. We talked about running, Diabetes and life. To me it just seemed right. I love running. It has added to my life immeasurably. It never would have happened without Harry.

Thanks Harry.

PLEASE donate in my mom’s memory to help children with cancer:

1 comment:

  1. It was a great run, I really enjoyed the brief moment we had together. It is amazing that in such a vast huge world how the internet has bridged distances. The internet has allowed people to come together electronically in ways not imagined a decade ago.


    PS. Yesterday was the first day warm enough for me to venture outside for a run. It was -17C today, back to -31C.