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Thoughts on Boston

April 16, 2013

Today I remember the fragility of life due to senseless acts of terror. I started writing a post yesterday morning about a quote that’s been stuck in my head over the last few weeks. The post has taken a little different turn in lights of the event yesterday at Boston. My heart is filled with sorrow and saddened that someone or some group would attack the family and spectators of an event. They didn’t come after the runners, they came after our support, our family and our friends. Pray for Boston and pray for those who committed this horrible act of cowardice. And now on to my regularly scheduled post:

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“—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And then one fine morning—

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald

I love this quote from the Great Gatsby. I find myself sometimes thinking about it and quoting it internally as I’m running. It represents the significance between the past and the dreams of the future. The struggle we face of attempting to achieve our goals by both transcending and re-creating the past. It shows the optimizm of future “tomorrow we will run faster, stretch our arms out further…” while they know that they might now reach those dreams. That

I was reading the Boston Marathon Recap from Dane Runs Alot and I think he was spot on with a few things. First:

  • “This was attack on your family, both the one created by blood and the one created by sweat equity”

This attack is supposed to make us tremble in our boots and change our way of life, but when we do that the terrorist win. I’m not going to stop running. I’m not going to stop running at large races. I’m not going to stop cheering for my colleagues and my family of running friends at races. I’m praying for the victims and those who worked so hard to qualify for Boston and were cut short of their dream of finishing.

Second:

  • “I heard someone say the world is gone to the wackos. I say it is the exact opposite. The world is a fine and caring place which is populated with billions of good people. Unfortunately, their acts are often undocumented and build over time… videos and report show runners who just finished, or who were about to finish, rushing to the scene of the explosions. They weren’t running away but rather toward the danger. Apparently, while not confirmed, some runners kept right on running to hospitals in case blood was needed.”

We are a community. While some individuals are only concerned about a PR or the next best time, it’s a community that comes together when called upon. Not all of us run toward danger… but we help others out when they need it. I’d like to think it’s an embodiment of the “Love God, Love Others, Serve The World” philosophy. Love others and Serve Them: From the kind words and smiles to other runners out on the course, to volunteering to pace a friend or a group of strangers. Give back and help in the ways that you can.

Runners are indeed a strange breed of people, but they are some of the best people I’ve met in the last 10 years. I count myself lucky to be a Marathon Maniac and part of a strong running community that doesn’t focus on the time of your race, but that you are out there doing it. That you’re accomplishing something together. So remember, in light of the tragedy of today, what we can do to show the terrorist that they can’t win is to continue coming together as a community of individuals. Don’t just sit there— act. Life is too short to sit around being scared that something bad might happen to us. God put us on this earth for a reason. To be the light in the dark and to love those around us.

Just remember:

Smile more. Say I love you. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Your life can change in the blink of an eye, through no fault of your won. Appreciate what you have now and give back to your community, whether it be a community of runners, your church, or where you live.

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