My heart is heavy for those in Boston today.
As soon as the new broke about yesterday’s tragic events, my whole office went silent. We gathered around a single computer to watch the live news stream, while simultaneously trying to get ahold of co-workers we knew were running. They were okay – thank goodness! – and we all felt like we could finally breathe again. Our thoughts are with those were not as lucky.
My phone started ringing at this time. I had three calls from different family members who know I love to run marathons and wanted to make sure I was safe. I was. I’m in Tampa and I am safe.
But I could have just as easily been in Boston. Any runner could have. It’s a race that’s on most runners’ bucket lists (even if the qualifying times make our heads spin) and it could have been any of our friends or family members standing by the finish line, waiting to take a photo or give a final high five before watching us finish something that took most of our blood, sweat, and tears to accomplish. A finish line is supposed to be a time of celebrating, not a time for terror.
My heart breaks for yesterday’s victims, but it also fills with love and thankfulness to the Boston community who not only rushed in to help the victims but also the runners and family members who were still out on the course. Every time I read a story of people coming together to help one another, I’m reminded that among tragedy, there’s still hope and good in this world.
This morning I ran in honor of Boston. I left my headphones at home and just took the 4 miles to think about what it means to be a runner. We’re all a part of this amazing community where every accomplishment is celebrated. No one keeps score, there are no losers, and the only person you’re ever “racing” is yourself. It’s quite honestly the greatest sport in the world and why anyone would ever want to tarnish it tears me apart. They’re not taking my sport away from me, I won’t let them. WE won’t let them.
So I will continue to run. I will continue to race. I will continue to volunteer, spectate, and cheer my friends on to achieving new goals. I will continue to run in honor of Boston and be thankful for every step along the way.