Friday, April 19, 2013

Boston; "It's Not About You," I Remind Myself

"The world is too much with us; late and soon."  William Wordsworth

As I write this, one suspect is on the run, and another suspect has been reported dead.

More importantly, an officer is also dead.

Since the days of the Boston Bombing I've been reminding myself that, even as a runner, "it's not about you."  I look back at my thoughts, and wonder how much I looked at this too much with my runner's eyes.  This was an attack on citizens at a running event, not an attack on runners where citizens were harmed.  Sure, the ripples will be felt by my runner's leg.  The ripples smack some pretty hard, but really, "it's not about you," I tell myself.  When my brain goes to all my future marathon finishes, and to the upcoming massive New York marathon, I'm wondering if I'm making it about me.  The answer is always in the question.

The real tragedy of the event is those who have suffered permanent impairments from the bombing, and especially those who lost their life.  Not runners. If only we could always keep that image of the 8 year old boy with the infectious smile and the sign reading  "Stop hurting people. Peace"  My children are the same age, that could have easily been my children, and that would be a fate worse than my own death. Same way I felt at Sandy Hook.

The reason we run sometimes is to get to our loved ones at the finish. To see our family with new eyes. This is what the Bombing was about, families and lives torn apart.  That is felt by all of us.

My 'brother by another mother', Predawn Runner Greg, wrote a post about this called "Boston Is Everyone's Tragedy, Not Just Runners"  He put it more wisely than I.

In the canceled New York City Marathon of 2013, politics collided with the runner community when the hurricane devastated some areas of New York. This situation seems so much more.  Of course, we will run to deal with this, because running helps us understand, helps us cope, and yes is even an expression of emotion. We can run to celebrate and remember life, rather than run to simply celebrate running.  Yes, I know, that's what most of you are already doing, but in my runner-obsessive brain, it's easy to lose focus and see things only through running-tinted goggles.

5 comments:

Greg Strosaker said...

Thanks Mark - and now we can say the second suspect is in custody. There is no problem running to deal with this, of course. The victims of this event go far beyond the running community, so this tendency we have had to focus on runners is not broad-minded enough and frankly seems a bit cliquish.

Mark Matthews said...

The idea of running really as a way to support other runners and the running community makes sense. I don't know that the spectators, who are the ones who are primarly injured, are concerned with how much we run for them as much as we may think. Yet, still, a photo I just saw tonight of so many "Bostoners" gathered by the finish line of the Marathon was symbolic. Oh, why can't life be simple and all ice cream and unicorns.

Sara said...

I have been waiting for this post. I like what you said, "The real tragedy of the event is those who have suffered permanent impairments from the bombing, and especially those who lost their life. Not runners. If only we could always keep that image of the 8 year old boy with the infectious smile and the sign reading "Stop hurting people. Peace" My children are the same age, that could have easily been my children, and that would be a fate worse than my own death. Same way I felt at Sandy Hook.
The reason we run sometimes is to get to our loved ones at the finish. To see our family with new eyes. This is what the Bombing was about, families and lives torn apart. That is felt by all of us" and am sharing.

You are right, more than ever you are right and I feel like oftentimes (and I say this as a runner), we become so passionate as runners that we start to lose sight of the larger tragedies at end. Yes, this has deeply and negatively impacted us and will probably impact the future of our sport, but we must remember the bigger picture - maybe even above what we all feel as runners.

Sara said...

*larger tragedies at HAND. Geesh...I can't spell or type this morning....

ZAHiDA JAFFER said...

What a beautiful post and so well-said. I have had to remember to put down my runner-tinted glasses too in processing all of this. The time on the clock the bomb went off would have been the time I would have had my family waiting for me at the finish line. The thought of those lives lost, lives forever changed, families torn apart, is simply devastating. That's what it is about.

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