I am a runner.
I will never qualify for Boston. But I am a runner.
And as a runner, the tragedies at today’s Boston Marathon are affecting me in a way that is different from any other recent tragedy. (And there have been far too many recently).
Running a marathon takes heart and soul and months of preparation. Today should have been one of the proudest moments of those people’s lives. Instead, it’s been marred by tragedy.
But runners are strong. Running gives strength. I know this, because it’s given me strength time and time again over the past several months.
When Darren passed away, I found a new kind of solace in running.
Darren wasn’t a runner, but he had decided to run the Soldier Field 10 Miler with me, and we had just begun training together. Only a few days after he passed, I found myself without even thinking, running to our meeting point. I waited there for a few minutes wishing he’d show up to continue our run together. But for a brief moment, it felt like he wasn’t even gone.
Other days after his passing, I didn’t want to be alone, but I didn’t want to be with people, either. On the lake path, I could run and be alone with my thoughts, but also feel a camaraderie with other runners out there with me. Runners are never truly alone.
Even now, I find comfort in runs on the hardest days. Sometimes it’s by running some of the routes we ran together. Other days I can just enjoy peace of mind that comes with a good run. I can look around, breathe the air, and appreciate the beauty and life all around this gorgeous city.
As the saying goes, you’re often just one run away from a good mood.
Tonight, with a heavy heart, I didn’t know what else to do but go for a run. My longest run in 6 months. In the rain.
I wouldn’t say that I am in a good mood now. But I have found a little comfort and a little clarity from running today.
My wish is that all those impacted by today’s tragedies in Boston also find comfort and solace soon.