Wednesday, April 17, 2013

It's Personal

I struggled with weather or not I wanted to write anything on the horrible day that struck Boston on Monday. I have read so many great posts that have captured just how I feel about it all. And adding to all the grief and sadness didn't seem like I was really adding anything to the mix.

But then I sat back and thought about how I really feel. I have gone through all the stages of mourning so far. From initially feeling so sad and scared to feeling like it was all a dream (denial), to being so damn angry about it. I had to stay off social media yesterday. I couldn't take any more links, thoughts, pictures with anything to do with Boston. Even the posts that were in support of Boston, pictures of people going out in their own favorite race shirt to run a few miles for our Boston people. I was overwhelmed on so many levels.
2010 VIP stands - even then I was excited!

I also saw so many people post a real personal connection to the tragedy even if they weren't physically there in Boston. And I for one had that same thought. Immediately when I saw the first glimpse of the finish clock showing 4:09:xx when the bombs went off, I knew I would have been finishing around that time and my hubbs would be so very close to where the bombs went off. But as we all know, my Boston trip and race was sidelined by my doctor (need to thank him next time I go in!). If I had run, that was probably about the time I would have crossed. Hitting so close to home was way too hard for me to think about. As I watched the news unfold in front of me on Monday, I, like so many of you, knew so many people there that day. I  quickly scrambled to text, facebook and tweet to them. Thankfully, all my peeps were safe. My next thoughts went to those that were not so lucky.

I also saw/heard some people feeling guilty for feeling like they could have been there but weren't. But you know what? That isn't a selfish thing. We, as such a large running community, are so connected and the Boston marathon means so much to so many people that making it personal is just normal. I did it and I don't feel guilty. It could have been me, it could have been you, it could have been your friend. In times of tragedy, we all place a personal emphasis on it, it's just plain human nature. And guilt should not accompany it.
My 2010 finish line pic with my good friend Jill :)

Having been so lucky to run Boston myself in 2010, I brought all my own emotions back to those streets, those runners, those volunteers and spectators. It is only natural. But what I am gathering from all this is that we are stronger than this. We will persevere. Boston will happen again - better, stronger. In trying to find something good out of all this garbage, I figured out that, above all, we have brought a great light to the world of running. To many of us, running is such a huge part of our lives. We eat, sleep, breathe and live running, and we surround ourselves with so many like-minded people that it's hard for us to grasp that others don't get what something like what the Boston marathon means. I was sad that I couldn't find the Boston marathon to watch on TV on Monday. I watched on my computer. I chalked it up as the sports world just not caring that much about running or not considering it a "real" sport. But after Monday, through all that tragedy, we have been given this opportunity to show just how awesome our sport is. It is finally highlighting what we all knew all along: that our sport is filled with amazing people, doing amazing things every day, and that we are a community that supports one another. We run for ourselves, we run for charities, we run for something bigger than the finish line. I think out of all of this we are finally able to show the world that running is much more than a selfish thing, that it is a celebration of the human spirit. And if that is all that can be found out of this horrid, horrid day, then I'll take it. Maybe those that have never had a thought to lace up their shoes and run will finally "get it." If anything, we have brought to light what a wonderful community we have and for that I am grateful.

My thoughts are constantly with those that are still struggling with the aftermath of Monday. I wish I could personally take it all away. It has shaken me to the core - like so many of you.

This was personal to all of us. And its OK to feel that way. It was an attack on all of our innocence and I am angry that it has been taken away. But I have not lost faith in humanity. We will preserve and for that I am grateful - especially when I stand on the cusp of bringing a new life into this messy, messy world. Good over comes evil - and I have not lost faith.
Happy Running friends.


Michelle said...

It's what we do and stick together.

ajh said...

Jamoosh had a great post where he pointed out how many more good people there are in the world and how they ran to help those who were hurt. I am trying to focus on that.