Yesterday the unimaginable happened. Two bombs went off near the finish line at the Boston Marathon. I was scrolling through Instagram when I realized what was going on. My first thought was “there’s no way” as I quickly switched to Google. Then, reading about what happened, I instantly broke down in tears. My heart has been heavy since finding out about the explosions and I have so many mixed emotions running through my head.
Although I do not personally know anyone who was running, I have felt how tight-knit the running community is. Whenever I race, it feels like I’m running alongside hundreds of friends all striving for the same goal. We are there encouraging each other, giving high-fives to each other and to spectators, accomplishing something amazing with each step. Yet yesterday, those very feelings were stripped away from those who were running in Boston. The happiness, joys, and accomplishments were replaced by fear, sadness, and loss. I never imagined that something like this would happen at a fitness event. How horrific it must have been for the family and friends who were there supporting their runners. How scary it must have been for the runners who had no idea what was happening miles ahead of them. How horrible it must have been for those who witnessed such a devastating event and who rushed in to help those who were injured. No words can even start to explain….
Hearing about the Boston Marathon explosion makes me think about my own life here at home. Too many horrible, cruel acts that have happened lately. I never ever thought that I would be witnessing such violence. I flash back to memories of 9/11/2001 – which still bring such raw emotions as though it had just happened. I look into my children’s smiling faces and see such innocence and am saddened about the fear they might endure during their lifetime. I kiss them every morning before school and deep down I know of the possibility that it might be their last. And now, being a runner, I am never going to cross a finish line without being reminded of the Boston Marathon 2013.
But I can not live in that constant fear. I am realizing everyday that life is a gift. As much as I wish I could, there I can not change what has been happening in the world around me. All I can do is give those I love extra kisses and hugs each and every day. I must remind them of how much they mean to me and appreciate every second that we spend together. I must call family and friends and remind them of how special they are to me. I can teach my children the beauty and love that is around them and how they can bring that to the world.
Here’s 2.62 miles for the marathoners, family, friends, spectators, and bystanders that were affected by this tragedy. With every step, I poured out thoughts and tears for you. United, as runners, we remember you.