I spent Monday morning at my desk doing work and watching the elites running the Boston Marathon. I watched the winners cross the finish line, elated and exhausted. I checked up on the finish times of a few friends and started to think about how I could be at the same start line in a few years if I work hard enough. Then went on with my day. I was in a meeting when I started getting texts about the explosions. I had to run to class immediately afterwards and could only briefly get online during our 10 minute break.
When I got home, my husband wrapped his arms around me and I just started crying. Not because I have been at countless start and finish lines and now suddenly felt so vulnerable. But because everything that the Boston Marathon means, everything that running means, was attacked. Boston represents our potential to be our best, to be strong, to be confident. My heart is broken to think that someone tried to steal that.
I may not have a BQ (yet), but I know the type of work it takes to get there. You pour blood, sweat, and tears. Months of early mornings, missed social occasions, and long hours on your feet. There is a reason that I tear up every time I pass an ongoing race. It could be a 5k or a 50k. It doesn't matter. What matters is that the people doing that race, pushing themselves to cross that finish line, embody the triumph of the human spirit. Pushing past everything you thought you could do. Finding out what you're made of. Reaching deep down for that last inch of strength.
I, for one, will keep running. And if I do end up at the Boston start line in the future, I will run for everything that was lost today.