I know the world doesn't need yet another blogger weighing in on the Boston tragedy, but as I use this blog as a journal, too, I am going to indulge myself.
It's only a few days post-Boston, and I'm still in shock. I can't believe what happened. It's tragic, it's horrific, and it really hits home for me. My emotions vacillate between sadness, grief and anger. I don't have a lot of personal connection to the city itself---the last time I was there was exactly two years ago, the same weekend as the marathon, actually, and I enjoyed a great running tour of the city. But I am highly connected to the runners that ran there. I knew several people who ran the race on Monday, and thank God each and every one of them is ok.
There are always tragic events that happen worldwide on a daily basis. Most of them seem so far removed to me. 9/11 was the first time that I could recall feeling the impact. Even though I was in San Diego, not in New York, those events made me feel very unsafe and very scared. It took a long time for me to get over that; I guess in some ways I never did. How can you? But most other tragic events that happen don't have the same PERSONAL impact for me. I sobbed for days over the shootings in Columbine, and grieved over the death of Caylee Anthony, and was shocked at the shootings at the Aurora movie theater.....and all the events in between. But rarely was there a personal connection. I was get upset at those events on a human level.
The shootings at Sandy Hook in December were different. Those hit me hard, and in fact I still think about those children, and those families directly affected, quite often. It hit me on a personal level, not just a human level, because now I am a mom. I drop my kids off at their elementary school every day. And my daughter is the age of most of the murdered children. Sandy Hook was one of those moments where I thought "there but for the grace of God go I" because that's how much I related to it.
The Boston Marathon bombings hit me in a similar way. I am a runner. Yes, I am a triathlete too; I bike and swim as well. But really, I'm a runner. That's my identity. Not only do I run, but I have very close ties with the running community. I have written here before, and I'll say it again, the running community is the best community I know. They are amazing. I've yet to meet someone who is truly awful only to find out they are a runner. I'm sure there are bad people out there who run, but I've yet to meet them.
I've never run the Boston Marathon. I never will---I am not a marathoner (well, I did run one full a long time ago and never again!) and I'm too slow to qualify even if I was. But it doesn't matter. The attack could have been on a local 5k race and I'd feel the same. Running----is so pure. It's so peaceful. It's from the heart and soul. How could anyone want to mar that?
The running community is not only made up of runners, but of their loved ones who support them. When I'm training for a race, I'm gone for hours at a time. I talk about my races, my gear, my injuries, and my hopes all the time. I mean, all the time. My poor husband. But he loves me, adores me, and knows this makes me happy so he happily indulges me. This is true of all loved ones of runners. And they are the ones who spectate, who get up early to come cheer their runner on. Who make signs of support and signs to make the runners laugh. They are the ones who bring their kids to give the runners high-fives on the race course. They are the ones who offer bowls of orange slices and pretzel and shout out encouragement, using the person's name on the bib if it's on there. I have only had my family come to a few half marathons and triathlons, but let me tell you, when they are there, my heart soars when I see them. I've had a few friends come spectate here and there and nothing lifts me up more. It gives a mental boost, and can carry me for miles, way more than drinking an energy drink or taking a shot of Gu can.
I am horrified and disgusted that the runners---and their beloved spectators--were singled out in this act of terror.
And I can't get 8-year old Martin Richard and his family out of my mind. This family! The 8-year old son is dead. To my knowledge, his younger sister, in 1st grade, has lost a leg, and may possibly lose the other. His mother underwent emergency brain surgery to save her life. This hits home. My son, D, just turned 9 last week. He's the same age as Martin. They were both in 3rd grade. My daughter, A, is almost 7, and while she's in kindergarten she should be in 1st grade (she's doing a 2-year kindergarten program) and is basically the same age as the sister. This could be my family. I can't stop thinking about this family, how the father and other sister are coping. How CAN they cope?
I know one thing...I'm not going to stop running. I may never run another full marathon, and I certainly won't run Boston, but I won't stop running. And I won't stop cheering my community on. Terror will not win this time.
Safety First (and second and third)
2 hours ago