My brother and I live relatively separate lives. By the time I started high school he was attending another one. Upon graduating, he moved to Toronto for university. Three years later, I graduated and moved to Calgary for college. We both moved back to BC after, he to Vancouver and I to Surrey. Needless to say, there’s not a huge overlap in our friends circles.
But it’s a small world.
About a year ago, I met a guy named Benji through a local running group. He was chatty, hilarious, and full of energy. I’ve run several times with him since.
Last Friday, Benji texted me looking for a run that weekend. I told him I was running the Boundary Bay Marathon and less than three hours later, I received another message telling me he had signed up. So on Sunday we ran and chatted and ran some more.
By this point I was aware that Benji started an organization called Run for Change, which helped downtown eastsiders struggling with addiction and homelessness to boost their self confidence and health through running. And that one of the runners he helped train, Caribou Legs, was currently almost finished his run across Canada to raise awareness for missing and murdered women.
I continued to learn more “short stories” about Benji’s life and running accomplishments, including running the Marathon Des Sables, a six-day, 251 km stage through the Sahara, and running 12 marathons in 12 months to raise money for a school in Morocco.
We completed the marathon (eventually) and posted photos on Facebook (as we do).
The next morning I received a message from my brother, “So you’re running with Benji now hey?”
I’m fascinated by coincidences, serendipity, chance, fate, randomness, and all that crap. It’s probably why I Heart Huckabees is one of my favourite movies. So obviously I delved deeper into this. It turns out that Benji used to run the cafeteria at my brother’s workplace. Well that makes sense – he now runs his own cafe.
And then Benji sent me this …
Yes, that’s my brother on the far right. I just find it so funny that there are seven people I assume to be cafeteria staff with their aprons, and the ONE person who isn’t, happens to be my brother. And they are spelling out “MARATHON.”