So as I write this post, a tragedy is being relived, reconstructed, and revisited in Boston, Massachutes. For those of you who are not regular readers of my blog, note that I am a runner. I run races all the time. So when I heard about what happened in Boston, I truly was struck. Why attack the running community? Why attack in Boston? It was and still is pretty senseless to me. But I know one thing; this will not defeat this runner girl.
I know just how it feels to train, prepare, and sacrifice for a race. It’s hard work, y’all. Really. No matter what time you cross the finish line, that victory you feel when you cross the finish line is THE SWEETEST. I have yet to find that kind of joy in another physical fitness activity. I know this seems silly but my thoughts at first blush were ‘how dare anyone try to steal this moment from these runners. You don’t have the right to steal their victory’. It’s one thing to intercept your own joy. As sad as it is, some people give up before the race begins. That’s their choice. But it pisses me off when someone else (namely Satan) intercepts my joy. I get this selfish, arrogant, possessive instinct in my gut that makes me scream inside ‘You can’t take that from me!’. Terrorism steals joy the same way. It did for people on September 11th. It did for the victims in Oklahoma. It did for the children of Columbine. It did for the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. It does for my Brothas and Sistahs who live in violent urban neighborhoods around the country everyday. Not only does terrorism steal joy but it replaces joy with fear. But serious runners don’t do fear.
My waiting room associate told me yesterday while we were for our sons to complete therapy that his wife no longer wants to run races. The two of them are an awesome runner couple who both just so happened to be in the United States Army. They live for running. Now she wants to give up but he wants to keep going. I offered my condolences to him and asked him to tell his wife not to give up so easily. Yeah I know it’s frightening to think of what could happen but why should we give in. We cannot afford to be cowardly. I almost feel like we HAVE to go on with the races. There were runners in the marathon who ran from the race to the hospital to donate blood. There were runners who lost limbs and if their spirit is anything like I’ve seen in the past, they probably wanted to keep going. I heard of a 73 year-old man who was blasted to the ground and once he got his bearings straight he got right back up again. It’s time for us runners to get back up again.
Coincidently, I have a race scheduled for this Saturday. I’m gonna hit the ground running like I always do. I’m going to put on my race bib, lace up my shoes, pray for protection from harm or injury and get going. I am not concerned about another attack. Truth be told, if God wants to take me there’s nothing I can do about that. He can take me at a race, in my driveway, in the middle of church, or in my living room. I can’t let the fear stop me and I hope it won’t stop you. We cannot let terrorism win this race. Resilience is our best character trait so exercise it right now. Run on runners.