I am a runner.
Certainly not by profession. It’s not something I find the time to do everyday.
But when I am out there, with the sun beating on my face and my feet on the pavement; I am alive and usually in pain. But I’m running. Most days when I don’t run, I think about what I can do to make myself a better runner. What cross-training activities I can do to improve my stamina and endurance. When I’m completely behind with things to do, I feel guilt that I’m not running, I’m not pushing myself beyond my last feat.
I run because I think of my mother who was more athletic in her younger years. My mother who couldn’t run during her final days with us because of the rheumatoid arthritis that attacked her joints. I think of my father, who had he taken better care of himself when he was younger (with exercise and not smoking), it’d be very likely that he’d still be with us today. I run because I can and because I want to be here for as long as I can help it.
It made me especially sad yesterday with the events at the Boston Marathon. These people are steadfastly dedicated to running. I might consider myself a runner because I like doing it every now and then, but they are runners by all definitions and every last mean. These people probably value their legs and the ability to use them more than I value most things standing around me right now.
There were 10 amputations yesterday according to several different news sources I followed. Ten people lost body parts in a senseless act by who knows who. Granted there are prosthetics and therapies to help those who were effected, but still, I can’t imagine the feeling of looking down at your legs (or arms – there were no specifics on what was lost) and seeing nothing. Your brain is so trained to just think about moving something and it goes. Now this, when you to want to move but there is no proof of your effort.
Pain like that is unfathomable.
There is nothing I can do to make a direct impact on those affected. I might consider more strongly donating blood the next time there’s something in the area.
But I won’t take the event in vain. I’ll reflect on the important stuff and remember why I’m doing what I’m doing. I will run because I won’t fear those crazy people in this world who will apparently attack anyone at any point in time. Most importantly, I’ll run because I can.
Run for Boston.
(Extra thought) Fear is a nasty thing. It brings out the worst in people. Let us try to not jump to conclusions. Hearing reports of people being suspicious of their “ethnic coworkers” today and it makes my heart sad. I saw a tweet this morning that’s worth noting, I wish I had a screen shot of it. A man tweeted yesterday after the explosions at the Boston Marathon. This is not verbatim but the sentiment applies:
“I am a brown man living in New York City and I am scared to walk alone today. This is how racism works.”