Boston - a reaction

Boston Marathon logo 2015

Friends, by now we have had the chance to try and digest what happened yesterday in Boston during the marathon.  Two bombs went off at the finish line killing three and injuring dozens others, many critically.  A horrific act perpetrated upon innocence and I hope and pray that those responsible will swiftly be brought to justice for their awful crimes. I also hope and pray that those affected both physically and emotionally are able to one day find a way to deal with the events and ultimately find peace.
Like any normal person, I’m repelled by terrible things like this – bombs, mass shootings, violence of any kind.  But this one hit a little close to home for me. I don’t have any connection to Boston.  I didn’t personally know anyone who was running yesterday. I don’t even ever see myself being a strong enough runner to ever qualify for Boston.  However, if you’ve ever run a race – be it a 5k fun run or a world-class event like the Boston Marathon – you know why I feel this was a shot close to home.  It was an assault on the running community.  Whether or not these bombs were meant to target the running community or to assail the government, peace, or the city of Boston, is a moot point.  The running community was hit.
Road races are an everyperson’s opportunity to triumph over their own obstacles.  Running is a sport of fitness of course, but more so it is a challenge of the mind, at least for me.  I originally started running shortly after I moved to Pittsburgh and watched those participating in The Great Race cross the finish which was just a few yards from my front door.  I was in awe.  So impressed by the frontrunners who seemed to sail over the finish with unimaginable speed and grace.  So inspired by the average Jane or Joe who just wanted to finish and do well regardless of age, weight, or how in shape they were.  There were celebrations and tears and hugs and victory for each person who crossed the finish.  This is what running is.  Overcoming whatever stands in your way to achieve something great regardless of speed or distance.  It was THIS kind of community that got me started with running.  It is THIS phenomenon that keeps me running no matter how much it hurts or how slow I go.  This is what keeps me running.
So yesterday, when someone (singular or plural) purposefully sought to ruin this triumph of the human spirit, to kill, maim, and terrify those who were celebrating some of the best we humans can do, I cannot help but to be sickened and disappointed, and revolted to an extra degree.  Violence against anyone disgusts me, but it is especially difficult to comprehend violence against those who are trying to overcome enormous obstacles.  It is especially shameful when it is perpetrated upon those who are most vulnerable.
In light of all this, I admit to being quite confused about what to do next.  I’m not sure how to directly help those affected by yesterday’s blasts other than to give to the Red Cross and other organizations that reputably help victims in times of crisis.  But what I do know is what I can do to keep the best of the human spirit alive and well.  I’m going to keep running and keep doing my best to overcome my own obstacles.  I will try each day to better serve my fellow man.  I’m going to endure and stay out there on the road, putting one foot in front of the other until I cross the finish.
If you run, I hope you’ll join me and keep running.  Keep the special warmth that can only be felt on race day alive and well.  If you don’t run, I hope you can somehow become a part of the running community by volunteering at a race or supporting those of us who choose to chase pavement.  Regardless if you run or not, please put kindness first and keep peace in your heart.  Love one another.

3 Comments

  1. COOOOOT
    April 18, 2013 7:23 pm

    Your comment –> “…Violence against anyone disgusts me..” I understand. An advice quote form my “P” Journal: –> “Try to be as happy as you can, but don’t hurt other people in the process.”

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