I’ve been wanting to write about the events that have happened in Oklahoma since they took place on May 20th. I couldn’t think of how to put my words in print. It didn’t hit me until this past Friday as Oklahoma battled another night of insane storms and I saw the damage that Mother Nature could impose.
I drove down to Norman, OK to coach at Koda CrossFit Norman on Friday, May 31st and had to make my way through Moore. Moore was the town that was hit by the May 20th Tornado and it was also hit by the May 3rd Tornado in 1999. Here in Oklahoma, we don’t give tornados names, but rather dates. I made it to KXN and was in talks with Koda to see if we should cancel classes. We made the call to cancel all evening classes because it wasn’t worth the risk of lives after seeing the destructiveness of the May 20th Tornado all for an hour worth of working out. We were glad we did even though nothing happened that night in Norman. However, just west of Oklahoma City 15 people were killed because of the storm we were concerned about.
The tornado that went through Moore was very close to my first house that I had bought in 2010. I have sold it since but I began my running “career” in that house and around those neighborhoods. The gas station that I always stopped at during my 18 mile runs for Gatorade and water was destroyed. Things that I always saw and places that I always frequented were demolished. Things were surreal.
As I made my way back to Oklahoma City from Norman, I took the backroads that I knew very well. The highway was log jammed because of all the people being released from work early due to the impending storms and it didn’t help as people gawked at the damage along I-35. I drove by my familiar route and was not expecting to see what I saw. Houses were leveled. All that was left were concrete slabs. You hear people describe it on the news and what not, but you don’t grasp it until you see it up close.
Above is a picture of my last long run in my old house with an overlay of the path the tornado took on May 20th. Like I said before, I knew those neighborhoods well. I knew several people affected by the storms. The only thing to do now is to rebuild. The efforts that Oklahomans and the people of surrounding areas have put forth already has been incredible. Even the CrossFit Community put together an event to raise money for the Tornado Relief Fund. The outpour of support for Oklahoma is amazing.
Now we just need Mother Nature to take a breather give us a break. Oklahoma Strong.