My head is swimming after the events of today and I wanted to weigh in on some of this as we all try to make sense of this tragedy. I won't be offended if you want to skip this post, it isn't my usually happy, silly post. But I promise I won't dwell - and I'll return to my normally silly self tomorrow. The Giveaway I was to post today will also be posted tomorrow - I just didn't want to post it today out of respect for the victims and their friends and families.
Ryan and I went for a run tonight - amid all the tragedy today, it was the best way we could think of to honour the victims. It's so hard to understand when something like this happens. A tragedy like this is so far-reaching, and everyone suffers.
Obviously it goes without saying how tragic this event was for those involved, and my heart goes out to the victims and their families. There is no way to even put into words how devastating the loss must be for those involved. Those who were injured or killed and those who lost loved ones are all in my thoughts and prayers.
A tragedy like this is far-reaching. It doesn't end with the physical injuries - we suffered another kind of loss today too. For those who don't run, the Boston Marathon is this really special event - it's like the Superbowl, the World Series, the Masters - of running. It's the most prestigious running event in the world. But what makes this event so special isn't just that it's a famous running event. It's special because unlike the Superbowl, World Series or the Masters, everyday Joes can run the Boston Marathon too, on the same course, on the same day as their running heros. It's "the dream". And if you want it badly enough, and you work hard enough most runners, with either the natural talent or a healthy mix of talent and dedication to the goal, can make it a reality. It's a dream that's within our grasp.
There's a blogger, Gina, at Walk to the Mailbox ; I mentioned her in my post this morning, before all the madness began. She wrote the most beautiful, eloquent post about running Boston for the first time , as well as posts about her journey to qualifying for Boston. I bring up her blog because in the wake of the tragedy, while of course I was thinking about the horrible losses suffered by all the victims first and foremost, it occurred to me that all of the runners at Boston today lost something too.
Gina wrote about how desperately she wanted to qualify for Boston, and the happiness she experienced just being there, soaking up the experience. The first time I read that post it made me cry - I felt like I experienced some part of it too, just by reading her account of it. And it it occurred to me this afternoon that there were thousands of Ginas at that start line today. Blissfully living the dream.
It must have been such a terrifying experience being in Boston today. The marathon is supposed to be about human strength, determination and resilience. The Boston Marathon was about living a dream for so many runners and spectators today. And instead of the dream, it became a terrifying experience that will haunt so many people for the rest of their lives. It will dissuade some from attending a big race again. Some might stop running altogether because it makes them relive memories they would rather forget. And many will feel at least some apprehension about running Boston in the future. In a way, it's been tainted, and the Boston Marathon will now forever be associated with this horrific, tragic event.
I'd wager to bet that a lot of people were inspired by the race today before those bombs exploded, and many spectators, residents of Boston and viewers at home probably decided that they would make changes to live healthier, more active lives. Made goals to run a first 5k or a marathon. But now maybe they won't do it. And we all suffer because we feel a little less safe in this big, scary world we live in.
It pains me to see something so positive become so devastating. I will never understand how anyone could want to cause so much harm to others and show such flagrant lack of respect for life.
My heart goes out to everyone in Boston tonight. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their family and friends, those with some very long roads to recovery before them, and those who will relive some terrible memories for a long time. Let's all keep them in our thoughts, and do what we can to help out, whether that's donating blood or just running a few miles in their honour. And let's not let this tragedy stop us from running. The marathon is about human strength, determination and resilience; let's show our resilience and honour the victims by standing strong and running on.
Wishing everyone peace and comfort at this difficult time.