Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Running is a Luxury

I am still in a state of shock from yesterday's news coming out of Boston.
I can't tear myself away from the TV.
I have been bawling my eyes out and gasping for breath between sobs.
My tears are filled with deep sadness and pure raw anger.

At one point my son thought it was hysterical that mommy was sobbing.
I thanked God for him being so innocent.
Of not being at an age to understand that the world we live in is cruel.
But he'll learn that all too soon!

As I watched the footage over and over again I kept looking at that finish line.
I kept watching those runners that were almost to that finish line.
Those runners that were about to accomplish something many others don't, won't, or can't even attempt in their lifetime.
Those runners that had that joy and pride and sense of accomplishment that they should have felt after crossing that finish line ripped away from them in an instant.
And instead was replaced by fear, sadness and anger.

It took me back to training for my half.
With every long run that came every week I felt sheer pride in another mile...another accomplishment.
I couldn't wait for race day to get here.
I was so emotional that week leading up to it.
Just thinking about the finish.
How proud I would feel after I had completed it.

And knowing that these great emotions weren't the case for those runners is what really got to me.
Knowing all the hard work and effort and time they put into training for this huge event.
To be taken away in an instant by some sick and selfish individual(s).
I was devastated for them and outraged at the same time.

And then I kept thinking about the spectators.
Of course, everything is so up in the air since it just happened.
And I'm not here to shout a bunch of hearsay I heard on the news, but one report mentioned that none of those 150 injured and 3 dead were runners.
Whether that is 100% accurate or not, truth be told that a vast majority of the victims were spectators.
People there watching and waiting for their loved ones, friends, and complete strangers to cross that monumental finish line.
People that were there to encourage and support and cheer on these runners.

If I could or would have a chance to be a spectator at the Boston Marathon, you better believe I would be there at the finish line watching those champions cross.
I was in Hawaii one year while the Ironman Triatholon was taking place.
I was a volunteer and got to stand as "security" right at the finish line when the first athletes were coming through.
It was one of the neatest experiences of my life that I will never forget.
I was filled with such encouragement and awe of those athletes.

I can guarantee that those spectators yesterday felt the same excitement, encouragement and awe as each runner neared and crossed that finish line.

And in an instant, all that was gone.
This experience for runners and spectators alike was to be one of great happiness and success.
And all that is lost.

As a runner, I am devastated.
I know as a people, as a nation, we are all devastated.
But this one really hits my heart.
In knowing all the emotions that go into this kind of event.
...both as a runner and a spectator.

Many running groups have asked that we all stand in support of this and wear a race shirt today.
I've got mine on from my race this past Saturday.
Wear one of yours with pride today.
And every day.

At my race on Saturday, I saw a couple spectators in wheelchairs watching along the course.
My heart ached as I ran past them.
As I ran past them with my 2 working legs.
My thought right then and there was "Running is a Luxury".

As I walked back along the race course on Saturday, I saw quite a few seeing impaired people with walking sticks walking in the race.
I cheered super loud to let them know I was in awe of them.
Running is a Luxury.

Yes, Running is a great form of exercise.
Running is a way for me to clear my head.
Running gives me a sense of accomplishment.
Running is what I love.
But not everyone can or has the capability to run.

It is with that knowledge that I am truly grateful for my running ability.
With that knowledge that I will continue to run...but for those that can't.
And with that knowledge, never forgetting that Running is a Luxury.

Sometimes all I know to do is Run.
Sometimes all I know to do is Pray.
Run and Pray, my friends. Run and Pray.


  1. I am still devastated. It's just not right that such a happy event where everyone should have been celebrating a huge achievement turned into something of such terror. It's awful.

  2. Very well written...and straight forward! xo

  3. Great post, and thanks for sharing the running picture at the end. I can't believe a year ago I wouldn't have considered myself a runner or felt as much comradarie with all of you lovely ladies. Now, I'm more proud than ever to call myself part of the group! Run and Pray is right :)

  4. As I was running last night, I kept thinking about how Pete and my Mom will be there for me at my race on Saturday and how if it were Boston (it will never be Boston for me, but if it were), they'd be pushing to be nearest to the finish line as possible. The spectators there were there out of love and support--selflessly sacrificing hours of their time to cheer on the runners. It's just so depressing to think a human is capable of such malevolence.

  5. I pretty much cried from beginning to end in reading your post, sissybabes! May we all be able to look at life through the eyes of a child, with genuine innocence and not fear of what God has planned for us, good or bad!

  6. So so horrible. You put into words what I feel.

  7. Love this post and how well put it is. & I fully agree with you on the innocence of our children.