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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Taking Back What's Ours

So I was out of town yesterday for work, and frankly I did not know what to write about Monday's events.  Tuesday, before I left for work I did what so many runners did on Tuesday, and maybe today.  I did my own little memorial run for Boston.  For me that meant a 4:30 AM 5K through my neighborhood without music.  The only sound really just the rhythm of my footfalls.  As I ran I thought about the people injured, traumatized, and killed.  I thought about how many weekends my husband and I set out to do just the same thing those folks did.  To run a race.  To feel the strength and endurance of our bodies, experience the camaraderie, and the payoff for hard work.  I thought about my half marathon and when things were tough around mile 10 after 3 miles of hills, how I thought in 2 miles my husband is at mile 12 waiting for me.  He is going to run me to the finish line.  I thought about how great it was to see him and how crossing that finish line was so much better because I could see him waiting to hug me.  Then I thought of 8 year old Martin Richard who was waiting to do that same thing for his Dad.  Probably doubly excited because dad was going to cross the finish line, but also because, as we all do, Dad had probably said "just let me finish training for Boston and I will have a break without so many long runs.  We can go see the Sox play."  Martin never got to give that hug or go to that game.  Because he and his Dad went to do what we all do.  We run. We run for the finish line.
This Monday someone, for some reason, and that reason will never nor should ever matter, tried to take that away from those runners and families in Boston and by extension all of us.  We don't have to accept that.  Runners won't accept it.  The finish line is iconic for runners.
The finish line is where we prove ourselves.  Where we meet goals and loved ones, where we prove we are stronger than we thought.  Sometimes they are the beacon calling us home after a long battle waged against physical and mental anguish.  It is a a finish line, even if it is your front door or your car after a training run.  It is a proving ground and a milestone maker.  It is where our loved ones wait, either because they don't run or they runner faster.  It is where we reunite and recharge.  It is ours.  It is not like it is being depicted now.
How sad to Google finish line photos and have the page populate with photos like this.  They will give way to pictures of runners who cross their own finish lines, whether it is running their first 5K or getting their BQ to run Boston next year, because whoever the coward is who did this, they did not end a tradition of 117 years.  They did not take our finish lines away.  They did not take the meaning found there, the magic kick you can find when it comes in view when you thought you had nothing left. The way in a tough race you say to yourself "where is the finish line."  We have control of that.  And everyday you get out and run, and every race you complete; you reclaim the finish line for what we know it to be.

1 comment:

  1. I ran a race today and it was a very emotional thing standing there on the line. The Boston incident definitely changed the way I think about running, but honestly, I think it made me love it more.