The past couple of days have felt pretty surreal to me. I’ve read so much about the tragedy in Boston at this point and everything is much better said and more eloquent than I could say it. My friend posted this article on facebook yesterday.:
“In his excellent piece for The Nation yesterday, Dave Zirin invoked a famous quote from women’s marathoning pioneer Kathrine Switzer: If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon. As a runner, I know this to be true, but not because of me or my fellow standard issue runners. It’s the spectators — who yesterday after the blasts, jumped over barricades to run toward the injured, who helped the few remaining volunteers at the event throw tables out of the way to make room for ambulances. It’s the people of Boston who offered their homes to families stranded by the blast — the last I heard, the Google doc of open doors contained 5,000 entries. For strangers. From the people who watch.
One of the many puzzling aspects of yesterday’s attacks was the question of what, exactly, the perpetrators thought they’d accomplish by targeting what basically amounts to a celebration of human tenacity. If anything, the tragedy in Boston will further solidify the bond between runner and spectator. And when the Chicago marathon happens this October, I’ll show up to run harder, and they’ll show up to cheer louder. If anyone thought this attack would discourage the runners or the watchers, they’ve clearly never been to a marathon.”
My sister called after she heard about the attack and told me that I wasn’t allowed to run Boston next year. I told her that I wouldn’t let fear keep me from showing up at the starting line next year. But I admit that I AM more hesitant about my family and friends coming to support me. How could I forgive myself if something happened to someone who was out there for me? I think about the 8 year old little boy who was killed after seeing his father cross the finish line. I have an 8 year old. My husband and four kids trekked all over D.C. to cheer me on during the Marine Corps Marathon last year. I feel lucky. Why Boston? It could’ve been any big race. Who would even imagine that going to cheer on runners could be dangerous? I think about the fact that I qualified for Boston 2 weeks after the race filled, so I am waiting for 2014 to run. So many jumbled thoughts and feelings. Shock. Anger. Sadness.
So yesterday, I laced up my shoes, met my friends and went for a run. And for the first time in 2 months, I ran with almost no pain. I ran grateful for every step I took. I ran for the victims. I ran for all the runners who worked so hard to get to Boston only to have their day stolen and marred. I ran for all the people who made sacrifices to be out there supporting the dreams and goals of their loved ones. I ran grateful that the people I knew running the marathon on Monday were safe.
It’s easy for me to get caught up in thoughts of what on earth is wrong with people??? But focusing on the one or few people who were involved with the attack is the wrong place to focus. Reading about all the amazing acts of heroism and kindness and goodness that occurred on Monday reminds me of the amazing community that I am proud to be a part of. Keep the faith. Keep dreaming. Keep running.