I don’t often write about breaking news on this blog. But after a tragedy like this, it seems hard not to want to reflect. As someone whose hobby before, during, and after the initial hobby year was running–this really got to me.
There are supposed to be fireworks at the end of races like The Boston Marathon–not deadly explosions.
As my coworker read the breaking news to a group of us in the office, I put my head down and continued to write the treatment that I was working on. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be informed–I wasn’t ready to be sad.
Sadness, after tragedy, is often addictive. After Colorado; Newtown; Sandy; and other large events that have resulted in death, I often find myself refreshing the Twitter stream relentlessly, clicking from news organization to news organization, and texting friends about their thoughts. All I want to do is turn away–but I can’t. So when I finally tuned into what was going on in Boston, an hour after it occurred, my obsession with the story quickly manifested. I wanted answers. I wanted to know who, what, when, where, why, HOW. I wanted to know everything.
And rather than feel sadness, I suddenly found myself feeling angry. This wasn’t an attack on our country, no it couldn’t be. There are over 90 other countries represented in a race like The Boston Marathon. This was senseless–terrifying–and reckless.
As someone who has run a lot of races, my anger too stemmed from the fact that this could have been any race in any city.
On Sunday morning, I ran my first race in nearly 9 months on the JFK runway–a 5k. I even got a few friends to come run it with me–one who hadn’t ran a race before. As we approached the 5k, I told her how excited I was that it was her first–that the community feeling of running a 5k, or any race, is what keeps me coming back. People are supportive–People feel a sense of community.
And what I love most about running in races is that it’s not a judgmental sport. People of all ages run–people of all run levels run–and people from all over the world run–without being judged. The spectators stand by–cheering, relentless–holding signs that make you laugh as you pass by, giving you high fives, motivating you until you cross the finish line. And unless it’s the Olympics or unless you’re a top runner battling it out for the top time, then no one is cheering against you either. It may not be a team sport but it brings on a team of people who want to see success. It brings people together–if even for a short bit of time. That’s the fun of any sporting event–the community that is drawn in. To see that disrupted, to see our spectators hurt–our runners–our fellow Americans–and even those who travel from near and far to take part in a race that has such magnitude as the Boston Marathon gives me chills and is beyond disheartening.
As more and more information is released, my heart begins to sink more. As I see the photos of the carnage, I am reminded of photos I’ve seen of battle scenes. People are without legs–three lives have been lost–and hundreds are battling what could be life threatening injuries in multiple hospitals across the city of Boston.
An 8 year old boy lost his life by simply watching a race–a race that perhaps he one day wanted to participate in, or that his family may have been participating in yesterday.
As I try to suppress my anger, I think of what I can do–what we can do in order to support Boston at a time like this.
The answer is to continue loving. To continue loving with all our hearts–showing our neighbor who may not always seem to love us back–so much love that they can’t avoid showing love too.
There is too much good in this world to let the bad rot it out.
To all those with family and friends who ran in the race or who had family and friends watching–my heart goes out to you as you dealt with worry and fear.
And to all those who took the start line yesterday–and who stood by, relentlessly cheering them on to the finish, my heart–my thoughts–and my prayers are with you.