I hesitate to even write anything … I’m just a guy that likes to run, enjoys chatting about running with others, and writes about running on this dumb blog. I’ve never run The Boston Marathon … I’ve never even been to Boston, MA. But today I woke up feeling even more sick than when I heard of the terror at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon. I woke up with a pit in my stomach as if my family had been attacked. My family of Americans and more specifically my immediate family of distance runners … reaching, digging, and clawing out whatever is inside to put themselves in a position to tolerate self-inflicted pain and suffering. An appropriate pain and suffering … a conscious decision to endure for a greater joy and, I believe, worship He who created us.
And at the climax of such sensible and truly awesome pain and suffering the Boston Marathon was met with more pain and suffering … this time senseless, destructive, and evil. Bombs exploding, people mangled, and ciaos spreading like wildfire. What makes this pain and suffering different? The degree of injuries and bloodshed are no doubt worse and more severe. But it’s ultimately the attack that makes this all frightening and so offensive. In the short video clips I’ve seen, I’ve seen our counter-attack launched almost instantaneously … not with more violence, but human consideration. The immediate counter to the absence of respect for human life was the direct medical care for those same humans.
No doubt I’ve gone on and on – sometimes publicly but usually in my thoughts – about how tough and tight the running community is. Usually it’s eluding to getting up before sunrise for a frigid long run, enduring the hateful profanity hurled your way (sometimes with beer cans/bottles) from an oncoming car/truck, or silently screaming “is that all you got?” when your legs and lungs are on fire and you still can’t see the finish line. Boston 2013 was different, but it’s made of the same people…with the same fire inside to better themselves that ends up bettering us all. Think you have nothing left coming down the straight away after 26.2miles? How about the runners literally diving into rubble to help people being ripped apart? What about those that KEPT RUNNING to the hospital to give blood?
Evil exists … but I’m so proud of those fighting it head on with blood and sweat on their brow. Every once in a while, we gain some perspective on life through sports. I’m often guilty of fretting over the best training with the best workouts for the optimum performance … all that energy into maybe shaving 3 minutes off a marathon PR? NO! Our hope and strength is in something no bomb or running race can give or take away … the two greatest commandments: Love God and love others. I’ve never been so proud to be a runner than seeing my fellow too-skinny-for-football running geeks go from enduring their own pain of awesomeness to fighting to save others’ lives in a split second alongside the police, firefighters, and first responders. For those not fighting on the ground, please fight with prayer for continued safety.
4 thoughts on “Boston 2013”
Great post, Adam, thank you. My immediate reactions came from a dark place, but after some writing and reflection I came to some similar conclusions…
I’ve been fortunate enough to have only seen pictures of warzones and the aftermath of large-scale senseless violence and I have seen countless, countless finish lines. Never in my life would I, could I, imagine seeing the two in the same image.
I cannot wrap my head around the twisted, warped, disgusting line of thought that had to have occurred to make this a reality. I cannot fathom the cold indifference it must have taken to put this horror into action. I cannot grasp, cannot make sense, cannot understand what this means.
I cannot shake how others must hurt, the sorrow, the loss. I can’t shake the image of dreams fragmented, a scene of accomplishment and happiness and pride and love shattered violently.
I can feel the relief of knowing that my brother is safe, that my friends and their families are accounted for.
I can detect, even now, mere hours after, the sense of camaraderie forming. I see people consoling, helping, giving blood, offering support. I can watch video of people rushing into the scene to help. I can rely on my shaky grasp of mathematics to recognize that people who love outnumber people who hate.
I can remember tragedies, and how through immense sadness, confusion, and frustration, they were overcome.
I can see myself lining up in 2014 for my first Boston Marathon. I, and 30,000 others, as we run to reclaim the finish line.
Great post, Adam. We are so quick to “advertise” the terror and tragedy through photos and videos but you’ve spoken thoughtful words about the power of God and the need for everyone to turn away from evil and sin. And Kevin, you were always a talented writer, so your eloquent words don’t surprise me. I’m glad Kyle (and all the EC alum) are safe and unharmed (minus the marathon aches!) and I hope the running community can lead by example and move forward following such a tragic event.
Well said Adam! The stories I’ve heard coming out of Boston have been amazing. Hearing about how prepared the city and it’s first responders are, about how they practice for events like this and just do what they need to do without hesitation. One thing that amazed me in the videos, and after I thought about it wasn’t really that surprised, was seeing the military personel jumping right in without hesitation, like so many others did.
Kevin – I share your confusion and outright disgust at the thought of others attacking such an event. I’m so glad your brother ran, finished, and is alright (first finisher from MN no less I believe!). I, too, can see myself pounding pavement towards the Boston finish line in the future … quite possibly 2014 … let’s keep fighting with how we know best!
Bridget & Erik – Thanks for your encouragement … I, too, am sometimes taken back (although I shouldn’t be) by the generous hospitality and love of those who simply “rise to the occasion” without hesitation.