Race Schedule

Sunday, February 13, 2011


There is something you probably don't know about me:  I'm a musical theater geek.

Even after I abandoned my music performance major for the more 'practical' political science major,  I never truly lost my love for music or theater and I continued looking for ways to feed my need to perform after I finish school.  That's where this story starts, but this story isn't truly about me.  This story is about my friend, James.

Two years ago Courtney found an ad somewhere for auditions for Joesph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat.  Joseph is an old favorite of mine and I couldn't pass up the opportunity.  During my dance audition I met a man named James.

I would be cast as Naphtali's Wife and James would be the star of the show - He would be our Joseph.  Rehearsals started in May and when I walked into the first rehearsal, James was the first person to greet me.  We quickly became friends and I learned James was a runner.

Like most shows, our cast quickly became a tight knit family and James was at the center of it all.

That was the summer I had to go back into a cast because my foot fracture hadn't healed.  It was a blow to me as a runner but also threatened my role in the show. That summer, James would become my support, not just physically - he was an athlete and I was grateful for his strength when I often found myself unable to get around - but also emotionally.  It was the emotional support I desperately needed.

James was optimistic, cheerful and caring.  His empathy and patience showed in the way he helped me around.  James had a big heart and he loved to make people laugh but he also was a wonderful listener and he was always willing to help anyone in anyway he could.  James kept me smiling that summer, assured me I would be running again soon and on the rare occasion our packed rehearsal schedule allowed him to squeeze in a race, he came back telling me I'd be doing that race with him next year. James gave me hope that summer.  But for James, there would not be a 2010 race season.

After the show I didn't see James as often.  He worked at the Apple Store and I'd stop in once and a while to say hello and we'd see each other at other local theater events but we didn't see each other every single day anymore.

In early September I went to the Apple Store with my brother and James was there but was training a large group of employees.  I was in hurry, he was busy, we only exchanged a wave before I left the store.  I have not seen James since that day.

On September 19th, 2009, James went for a run. That day, in the parking lot of a strip mall in his neighborhood, James was hit by a car.  He went through the car's windshield and suffered a traumatic brain injury.

James' condition has improved since the accident, however, he has never fully regained consciousness.

Like all of James' friends, I hope one day we will truly get him back.  But we also remember the things we learned from James, we remember his strength and compassion, how his smile lighted up a room and how magnificent he was on stage that summer.  We remember how he always put others before himself and how he encouraged us when we went through hard times.

I think about James a lot now when I run.  He gets me through the tough workouts.  Right now, James can't run.  But I can run again, just like he told me I would and now, when things get hard and the miles seem too long and my legs don't want to hold me up anymore, I draw on the strength James gave me.

One day, I hope to get the news that James has finally returned to us.  One day, I hope James will be there with us to run the Miles for James 5K with us.  One day, I hope we will run those races we talked about.  But now, I run for James because I know he would do the same for me.

If you would like to learn more about James Javier or the Miles for James foundation, you can go HERE.

You can also follow these links to see video of James as Joseph:

Joseph's Coat

Close Every Door to Me

1 comment:

  1. Oh man, what a sad story! Yet, as a runner, I'm glad you shared it. Kind of a nice reminder to pay extra attention to all of the other people out there since they don't always pay attention to us. I hope this will end up with a happy ending and you two will get to run together again some day!