For a couple of weeks I've been meaning to post about how I'm signed up to run a half marathon...on Saturday. I've been meaning to write about how even though training has been extra-challenging with Jason in New York, it's been invaluable for maintaining emotional stability. I've been meaning to tell you how running has been an anchor during this time of trial; how even though the floors don't get mopped, it's worth it.
Now, in the aftermath of the deadly explosions at the Boston Marathon, my reflections seem trivial and unimportant. Even though I was not personally affected, I still feel a sense of connection to this community of runners, and perhaps an even closer connection to the loved ones who cheer them on. One of the blessings of not having TV in our home is that we aren't flooded with terrible images from the news. I have lived through multiple crises without ever seeing a broadcast about them--9/11, Aurora, Sandy Hook, and now Boston. (For runners, "Boston" is the marathon--no further description needed.)
Yet even without seeing what happened, I still feel sorrow for all those affected. Along with so many others, I ache most for those maimed and killed by such violence. Yet my heart also aches for those who prepared so long and hard for the chance to run in Boston, only to have the day cruelly marred. I'm sad for those who dreamed of running Boston someday, and now wonder if the glory of the finish line will ever feel quite the same. And of course, I'm sad for all the family and friends on the sideline who must now cheer from beneath a shadow of uncertainty and fear.
Feeling disheartened after reading a few news reports, I considered dropping out of Saturday's race. But no, I prefer to run--to run in rebellion against terrorism, as a protest against evil. My foray into running over these past few years has taught me that at its core, running is good. There's something about the mental and physical effort of continuing on for mile after mile that allows one to see life clearly, that provides perspective about what really matters. I pray those affected by the explosions in Boston today can find healing in their runs.
Even though I may lack the natural aptitude (and long legs) to make it to the Boston starting line, on Saturday I will run in remembrance of today's tragedy. I will support and encourage those with dreams of racing there some day, and when that day comes, I promise to be at the finish line, cheering.