Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Part of a family

Photo: Wearing my race shirt today!

I have been in total disbelief about the tragedy in Boston yesterday.  I woke up yesterday feeling the excitement of a marathon that I can't compete in due to my own slowness, but would LOVE to one day.  I knew that several people from my running group were in it, and I was excited for them.  As I lay in bed before my alarm went off thinking about the Boston Marathon and thinking about how much I love the marathon, and I just started the day thinking how awesome it was!

Right after lunch I got the text from KSL about the explosions going off.  Luckily I had some down time and I could check the news.  I was shocked by it and sat mesmerized in front of the news coverage. I was grateful to be able to check Facebook and see that those I knew running the race were safe and accounted for.

As the day went on I had more time to think about it.  I thought about how I felt personally violated by this attack.  I wasn't in the race, I have never run this race, nor am I anywhere close to being able to qualify for it.  But, I felt like as a runner and marathoner, this was personal!  I may not have run this race, but I am a runner.  I know how much it takes to cross the finish line of a marathon.  I know the training, the stress on my body, the time it takes, etc.  I know the feeling of crossing the line at a marathon is unlike anything else in the world.  I thought of all of the marathoners there that day, and for many of them, I am sure this was the race of a lifetime and a bucket list item for many.  To have that taken away and violated is tragic!

I saw on Facebook some one post about everyone wearing a race shirt today to show our support and our unity for those in Boston.  I loved the idea immediately.  I knew I would wear my St. George Marathon shirt.  I also knew that it was just one small thing that I could do.

When you are a runner, like it or not, you become part of a family.  I feel an immediate bond with people I see running with the head lamps on in the early morning as I am headed to work or headed home from the pool.  When I am in the grocery store and see someone in a race shirt, I feel a connection to them.  Just as I do when I sit at a light and notice race stickers on a car in front of me.  Or, like yesterday morning prior to the attack, when I felt the connection and the excitement to all of the runners running a race I aspire to one day complete.  Though I hardly know any of them, I have been at the starting line of a marathon, and I felt the excitement for them just like I have felt the morning of my own big races.

When the bombs went off, and our sanctuary, running, was also attacked, it was personal.  Many people run not for the times, but for what it does for them personally.  It offers the clarity of mind, the sense of accomplishment, an increase in self esteem, and so much more.  To have that special moment taken away for those that were there is unforgivable.

So, in wearing my shirt today, I felt a connection to the rest of the running family.  I also wish I could go run, but with my injury, I have to stay off of it this week.  But, when I run the SLC Half on Saturday, my thoughts and steps will be for those affected in Boston.  God Bless all of them.

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