Monday, August 1, 2011

The Canadian Shield

Monday, 10:30am EST
This is the part of highway I’ve been thinking about since I first decided to do this piece. 
The Canadian Shield area is beautiful and inspiring, but it had to have felt very isolating for Terry. After weeks in southern Ontario, where he was given a hero’s welcome in every city, this must have been a shock to the system.
There simply aren’t many people here. There are long distances between towns, and the towns themselves are often very small. As I wrote before, his run felt inclusive to those of us who were isolated in these small places. Just by running by on the highway, Terry made people feel like they were a part of his amazing journey.
This stretch of road is not as unforgiving as Newfoundland, and maybe it’s just because I grew up here but it seems a little more welcoming. There’s an openness to it, and in the sunlight it feels like nothing bad could happen here.
In all the hours of running he did here, I wonder what Terry was thinking as he went. I can’t help but think his mind had to have been on his lungs. When he stopped he had a tumor the size of a lemon in one and a golf ball in the other. Surely, as he ran past the great forests, dilapidated barns, lakes and rivers he had to have noticed something wasn’t quite right.
Of course it’s entirely possible he knew full well he was in trouble and took it as far as he could.