This post is a departure from my normal subject matter (making fun of my kids and husband, as Mark puts it,) but I’ve been thinking a lot about yesterday’s tragic events and I feel like I need to write about it.
I ran track when I was in junior high school. I was fast, a sprinter, but I hated it. I was complaining to my coach one day about how much I hated running and he told me to think about all the people who want to run but can’t because they are in wheelchairs, or they are injured, or they don’t have legs. Basically, stop whining and run. So I did. I finished the season and every time I didn’t feel like running, I thought about the people who couldn’t run and I ran for them. Once the season was over, I didn’t run again until I was 30 years old.
I started running again at 30 because I wanted to feel alive after nearly a decade of abusing my body with cigarettes, bad food, and too much alcohol. I told Mark that I would run a marathon before I was 40. The first run I did was ¾ mile and I felt the opposite of alive by the time I finished. I have continued to run, faithfully, 3 days a week and I’ve grown to love it. I never used to understand the point of races for recreational runners. Why run a race that you know you aren’t going to win? I love races now too. I’ve come to realize the only person I have to beat is the person I was yesterday.
I’ve been thinking about the person or people who planned the explosions at the Boston Marathon. Why do people do things like that? To injure and kill? To cripple us as a nation? To incite fear and keep us from doing the things we love to do?
I don’t think we are a crippled nation. When things like this happen, I am always inspired by the first responders who race to the scene, not yet knowing if it is safe. There are always stories of heroism that emerge and it reminds me that there are still some great people out there.
And I am not afraid. I will continue to run and participate in races. I will run tonight and I will find myself running, once again, for all the people who can’t: the people who lost their lives, their limbs, or were injured in some other way. I WILL run a marathon before I’m 40 and now I’ve set my sights on qualifying for the Boston.
I will see you at the finish line.