In today's world with the constant barrage of horrible news, gruesome pictures of human attrocities and societal/political damnation of our ability to think/make decisions for ourselves, we tend to become numb after a while. We watch the news or a movie and scenes that would have shocked and horrified us years ago have suddenly become commonplace. We have accepted that bad things happen and seem to let these images numb our empathy.
Yesterday's events slapped me in the face...and I suddenly was not numb anymore.
I had just finished posting on my blog for my usual Monday post. I was on Twitter about to post the link when I saw several tweets about "what happened at #bostonmarathon?" "I heard there were bomb blasts at #bostonmarathon!"
What? Bomb blasts? At a marathon? Please! Maybe it was fireworks that didn't shoot off right and there was a mishap.
But as more and more tweets flooded in, there was no denying it, something bad had happened.
I combed the news sources and early pictures proved my fears to be true. It was bomb blasts and there were a lot of people hurt. My heart was immediately in my throat. I stood looking at my computer screen stunned and speechless. My emotions were right on the edge and any picture or footage of the blasts would make me cry. I was all of a sudden no longer numb, I was flooded with feelings of anger, sadness, confusion and helplessness.
Why a marathon? Why anywhere for that fact, but still why there and why now? I couldn't wrap my head around it. I still can't. These types of acts are senseless and barbaric. It encroached on a celebration of true human triumph, the euphoria of accomplishment and relishing of sportsmanship in its purest form.
The blasts created havoc, fear and harm to those that participated in the race and many of those that had come to cheer the runners on.
What those blasts failed to do is fracture the running world and alienate the people that support it. If anything, it created a bond that has strengthened the community even more. There were countless people at the race that once the bombs went off, ran TOWARDS the blasts to help those in needs.
That my friends, is heroic.
There were stories of runners finishing the race and running to nearby hospitals to give blood to the point where the Red Cross was turning people away.
That is strength in numbers.
There were hundreds of people that clothed the runners stuck on the course, housed and fed the displaced racers, and offered comfort to those in need.
That is the goodness of human kind.
We are often disenfranchised with people's general self-centeredness and I often times curse people under my breath for being careless and self-serving. But my heart was comforted by the good deeds that people were doing for those in need and relished in the kindness and fearlessness of the human spirit. This running community, millions of strangers all around the country (and world!) are now united under one truth; we are family and we look out for each other. I am so blessed to be a part of this dynamic and amazing community where we won't let fear and hate keep us from doing what we all love doing the most, running. So in solidarity, runners from all over are wearing race shirts in support of the Boston Marathon. Here is my picture I posted today,
I'm wearing my shirt Superman style, under my work clothes today. This is my super power. I am a runner. And I am damn proud of it. I will NOT run away. I will run towards those that need my help and assist my fellow runner, friend and human being. Let's not forget why the Boston Marathon is such a big deal to us runners, a celebration of the human spirit and camaraderie. Today I pray for those harmed at the Boston Marathon and from now on will never forget the bond that has been forged even stronger.