Monday, April 22, 2013

A Reflection on Running and Boston

To me, running is a metaphor for life.  The road is long and it’s often full of terrain that you’re not sure how to tackle.  Injury flares up at the most inopportune times, and just when you think you’re making no progress on the route that lies ahead, a break-through occurs.  I believe that when we work on ourselves – we train, get stronger, run more hills and do more intervals – we put ourselves in the best place to be there for others.  I more than believe this – I know this to be true.  I see it in myself and I see it in my family – my running family.

I know that after 26.2 miles, I had to concentrate on climbing the stairs to get on the bus that would take me back to my hotel.  I had to trick my legs into lifting because they didn’t want to do it on their own.  I literally stared those stairs down and determined my best strategy.  I didn’t run an additional two miles to give blood.  But, I would have.  Because, I am a runner.  I train to be stronger than I think I am. 

And, I wish I could finish this post by just saying that focusing on the heroes has helped me.  It has.  But, I have to be honest and say that the events of the past week have evoked fear in me.  And, frankly, they have left me angry.  Running is this stable force throughout everything else in life.  It’s the period at the end of a lot of exclamation points.  Those final .2 miles are important.  It pains me to think they were tarnished with hate.

So, I ran on Saturday.  And, I smiled and waved at every single person I saw while I was running.  I’m not sure why, but I swear people were excited to see my smile and wave.  I felt the running family growing with each kind gesture.  There is still a long road ahead full of healing for so many people within this family, and I wish I could do more.  But, I will continue to do what I can - put one foot in front of the other and gain strength in miles.

I always think of these words from Martin Luther King Jr. in times like this: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

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