Yesterday, I went on a run. Prior to Monday afternoon-4/15/13-this run was scheduled because I had decided to sign up to run the Tarheel 4-miler this coming weekend even though my body is in-no-way-shape-or-form back in shape to run this whole race. A-holy crap, you need to get ready for this, you crazy woman, run. However, yesterday's run took on new meaning as the bombs ripped through the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday afternoon.
I don't think that I can completely explain how I felt during my run yesterday, but I'm going to try.
The thing is-yesterday, 4-16, is also a date permanently etched into my heart. It's the anniversary of the shootings at Virginia Tech.
Also, my sister, who was also in NYC during 9-11, runs marathons. She just ran the Marine Corps Marathon last fall. Many of my friends and family members run all the time, many of us competing. My boyfriend is from Brockton, outside of Boston. Most of his family still lives in and around Boston. It was very apparent to me that, it could have been and could be any of us and anytime.
So yesterday, I put on my Hokies United shirt and I ran-and here's what I thought about.
As a person in my 20's, I remember the Oklahoma City bombing, my sister was in New York during 9-11 and I remember frantically finding my brother in the halls of our high school so that we could get to a pay phone to call home and see if Jess was ok, my roommate was in London during the bombings, and my friends and many of my loved one's friends and family were at Tech during the shootings. These and the Boston marathon bombings have changed our lives-- this is what we know.
And I'm one of the lucky ones. So far, I have been lucky that I have not lost anyone close to me during these events, though I know many people who have. And I feel lucky, so lucky every time and so sorry for those who have. No one deserves that kind of pain. It also makes it difficult to discuss because you know that, for others, their experiences are an entirely different thing.
As I ran yesterday in my Hokies gear, thinking about the marathon, I felt so sad. But, this time, I also felt a surge of something that was different. Defiance maybe? Pride? I know that sounds weird-but as I watched the news coverage that morning before my run, there were stories over and over of people helping others after those bombs went off. Teams, cities, individuals reached out to help. People gave people they didn't know a warm bed and a place to stay, they carried them to safety, for goodness sakes the Yankees put up a sign uniting them with the Red Sox--Just like my wahoos and every other ACC/Virginia/college team, in general, did after VA Tech--Hokies United. We are VA Tech. We are Boston. We are runners. We are Americans. Period. And we, the ones who run/walk/stand together-we outnumber you, whoever you are.
So I ran.
And I'll run again this weekend-wearing my blue and yellow this time and thinking about all of those injured and who died on Monday, at Tech, in London, in OK city, in 9-11. We will not forget and we should take care of each other, always. Be on the lookout for ways to help others, some things may be as simple as giving blood in the coming months.