Tuesday, April 16, 2013

It's About All of Us.


I’m a runner. I’ve run in rain, sleet, snow, wind, humidity, and sunshine. I’ve run when my body aches and I’ve run when I’m feeling on top of the world. I’ve run to clear my head, run to strengthen my body, and I’ve run just to run.

I’ve also run two marathons, pushing my body to its furthest limits, feeling as if I couldn’t go on and making it through by sheer determination, hydration, and the crowds of friends and strangers cheering me on.

But I’ve never run in fear. And I’ve never run for my life.

So I can’t wrap my head around the events in Boston on Monday. What possesses someone or someones to bring fear, terror, and tragedy to an event surrounded by all things good is beyond me. But, I suppose, that was the point.

My friends who are runners have been posting on social media outlets about going on their run today in honor of those who never finished, and I’ll be doing the same. But perhaps it’s the inherent narcissism of human beings that allows us to take this tragedy and make it about us as individuals, as well as a society at large.

And maybe that’s what makes it bearable. Maybe that’s what makes it less obtuse.

Or maybe it’s because it IS about all of us.

It’s about the runners who stopped to help their fellow marathoners and those cheering them to the finish line. It’s about the spectators who carried people to safety. It’s about the police, fire fighters, and first responders who ran towards the chaos while most people were running from it.

And it’s also about the guy in the middle of Iowa today who goes for a run because he can. It’s about the doctors and nurses around the country who are reminded of why they get up and go to work each day. It’s about the thousands of people around the world who are gearing up to train for the New York City marathon in the coming months. And it’s about the people who take pause in the face of new-found fear before getting out there to cheer loved ones towards the finish line.

It’s also about getting out there anyway, because that’s what we do.

However, while watching the events of yesterday’s tragedy unfold on the news this morning, I found myself standing in the middle of my apartment, crying. But I couldn’t figure out what I was crying about.

I mean, everyone I know and love is safe, both in Boston and thousands of miles away. And I watched footage and heard stories all day yesterday from the scene and felt complete and utter compassion for those having to endure this nightmare in real time, but was able to take myself out of it; it wasn’t about me.

So why now? Why, nearly 24 hours later, am I standing in my living room with tears streaming down my face?

Because it’s about all of us. And it’s about getting out there anyway, because that’s what we do.

That’s why. 

17 comments:

  1. What a totally beautiful "tribute" type post that conveys your feelings as a runner, about that happened in Boston. Even though I don't run and can't run (knee replacement surgery changed everything!), I get a strong sense and feeling about exactly how you feel.

    The runners in Boston would love this post; I just know. Your spirit shines through and your love for your fellow runners is apparent.

    Thank you for writing this... you made me think of this tragic event from a runners perspective, which is something I wouldn't have done without your prompting.

    - Carlo, stopping by from The SITS Girls

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    1. Wow, thank you Carlo, that means a lot to me. I'm glad it struck a chord with you.
      Thank you for stopping by, I hope you will again!

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  2. Amen.

    I don't run but I kind of wish I did, now.

    The thing about this nation, about this ~people~: We Keep Going. It's what we do.

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  3. I have yet to run a marathon, but I do run 5Ks. After I found out what happened and sat staring at the TV in horror, I thought, every time I go do a race, I'm going to think about this. And then I thought, no way am I going to let them win. I will be running today and signing up for the next 5K that I can.

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    1. Yes! That's awesome. 5k's are the best - that's how I got started...so you never know. Good luck!!

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  4. Becky, this was a beautiful and touching post. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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    1. Oh thank you, and you're very welcome, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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  5. Wonderful post! I too am a runner who has completed 5 marathons and after each one have felt some an intense feeling of joy and accomplishment. The people that ran yesterday that did not get to finish did not get to experience this due to a total useless violent act is heartbreaking. I ran hard today for those people.

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    1. That's impressive!!!

      Me, too. :-)

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  6. I live in Iowa, so I'm pretty far removed from what happened in Boston. It has been making me cry though. And that's ok because it is about us. All of us. One thing outstanding about America is we pull together in times of tragedy.

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    1. Thanks for reading, and I agree.

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  7. I don't run and I never want to run...for any reason. But, I did live in Boston for 7+ years and I love it there. It is the city that holds my heart and I understand how you feel. Beautiful post.

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    1. I hear you - I used to say that the only way I would ever run is if I were being chased...and maybe not even then.

      But I love Boston as a city and am slightly jealous that you lived there for so long! I hope any friends and family still there are safe. Thanks for reading.

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  8. I wanna cry too. Still have such a heavy heart. For so many reasons around this yet new tragedy... but more of the same evil. We do get back on our feet somehow- whether running or walking or facing our day. We are lucky that way. Cause we can.

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  9. Okay- so I was wondering why I didn't get my email updates because I swear I thought I subscribed to your AWESOME blog! Apparently, I am not getting the confirmation email to finish the deal. Could you confirm my subscription for me? It's not in my junk box either- this has happened on a few other blogs and it's SOOOO frustrating!! Ugh. Would love more of you!!! :)

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    1. Oh no! I don't have anything asking me to confirm you, but let me go and check. Hmmm...strange! Try it again and let's see if I get something this time?

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