My husband started running in the spring of 2011. He ran his first marathon in January 2012. I know it wasn’t easy for him to make it to the finish line. And it really wasn’t easy for me and the girls to get to the finish line either, as I shared with you afterwards.
But he wanted to run another one anyway, so this past January we all went to Orlando so he could run the 20th Anniversary Disney World Marathon. That one went better for all of us, but still required quite a lot of effort for all of us to make it to the finish line.
|Our view of the finish line as we waited for my husband.|
|My 6 year old holding her “Go Daddy!” sign.|
|And here we all are, reunited and proud and happy.|
As we started planning the Disney World trip, I was convinced to run the 5K. It was a big deal for me because it was my first race ever — and my husband ran it with me, because that’s what runners do. Two months after that, I ran a 10K with my friend Cathy, who has also run a couple of marathons (and was supposed to run the NYC marathon last fall). She ran with me because that’s what runners do.
The thing you might not know about running and runners is that it’s a choice: though we may be born to run, to get up and actually do it is a choice. For some it’s a fitness choice and something that aids them in a greater weight loss or fitness goal. For some it’s an endurance choice, something that lets them test the limits of their bodies. And for some? It’s a turning point in their lives. A chance to do something they never imagined they could. An opportunity to take that much needed “me time”. It’s that thing they needed when they didn’t know they needed anything.
Running is different things for different people, but the one thing it is for everyone is GOOD.
I have never run a marathon. I don’t have any aspirations of running one, either, but I know it’s possible I’ll change my mind one day. Because here’s the thing about runners: they want you to experience this wonderful thing they have discovered. And everyone is attracted to that – so people go out and cheer for them. And all the people who love them stand on the sidelines to support them on this great effort. It’s just all goodness and love coated with sweat and tears.
And yesterday someone’s darkness took over and lots of innocent, well-meaning folks were unspeakably injured. And some died. And this is not OK.
Please be the light. Please don’t let the horrific act win. Pray for the injured and the grieving. Don’t let that anger turn into darkness in your own heart.
As someone who has just discovered a love for running and someone who has waited with my children at a marathon finish line with tears in my eyes for that runner I am so proud of, I am feeling this tragedy deeply. Don’t distance yourself from this because you are not a runner or have never been to a race — now is the time to be good, to be better, to help the light spread.
And if you don’t know what to do to help your light grow? Go for a run. The time is now.