My plan this morning was to weigh-in and blog about the end of my first Dietbet. I’d planned to type while watching the end of the Boston Marathon via live feed. You see while Boston is geographically 3,000 miles from California, it felt a closer this morning.
Boston is an elite race, you either have to qualify by running an incredibly fast time (based on your age and gender) or you have to raise a significant amount of money for a charity partner. My family has roots in the city and my desire to run it one day is one of my life goals. I could certainly run it as a charity runner, it’s a lot of money but we’re talking once in a lifetime. As someone who knows first hand that Cancer SUCKS, I would happily bug/annoy/torment/harass all my friends and family out just once so I could hand Dana-Farber Cancer Institute a bunch of money. But deep inside me there is a flame of determination and a cold hard voice insists that I fight as hard as I can to qualify before I go charity. I need to lose weight and train my ass off for it. I haven’t done that yet. Boston is special because Boston is home but most importantly Boston is earned.
Coincidentally this morning was the end of my first Dietbet. I lost TEN pound in 28 days which was more then the bet required but I had an awesome month. I sat down to breakfast proud of myself for the first time in a long time knowing I am a step closer to Boston. I was so excited. And then I turned on my phone and the world changed.
I know runners can be hard to understand. It wasn’t very long ago when I was thinking why the hell would anyone do that for fun? But we do. And somehow in the middle of all the racing and training runs and questions gear and fuel and hydration I’ve joined a family. And that feeling? It goes beyond nationality, ethnicity, gender or religion. I can’t begin to list the number of total strangers I’ve accepted food, drinks, hugs and cheers from on a race course. And I’ve given just as much as I’ve gotten. So this tragedy? It was a horrible thing that happened 3,000 miles away but I’m taking it personally because some psycho messed with my racing family.
This is an image of the finish line before the start of the race. The flags are for each country represented in the race. It always makes me so proud when I see things like this. To me it means even in messed up world there are some things that unite people and running is one of them.
Here it is a couple hours later.
What better proof could there be of this global running village then this official breakdown of participants from the Boston Marathon page:
96 countries and 56 states and territories represented. But those are just numbers. And numbers are just a small part of the whole. Running isn’t just about numbers, it’s about people. These are my people:
Here are some other good reads:
The best explanation for my addiction is If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon.
One woman ran Boston today as a way to overcome tragedy. She is shaken but she is still standing.
Here is a 78 year old man who felt the blast, was knocked down but still got up and finished. I wish I was half as awesome as that guy.
I also read some individual thoughts that echo my feelings exactly.
The BEST response, the most powerful statement I’ve read thus far has come from a comedian named Patton Oswalt:
Boston. Fucking horrible.
I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, “Well, I’ve had it with humanity.”
But I was wrong. I don’t know what’s going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths.
But here’s what I DO know. If it’s one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me). This is a giant planet and we’re lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they’re pointed towards darkness.
But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago.
So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, “The good outnumber you, and we always will.”
A close second is A Bomb is Opposite of a Marathon.
Today I am 10 pounds lighter then I was a month ago and that much closer to Boston. If anything, today’s events have fueled me. One day I will run this race and in order to prepare for it I will run many others. I’ll show up to starting line and will proudly cross each finish line come hell or high water. As for today’s terrorist(s):
You can’t beat Boston. Check out: outpouring of help from city’s residents.
So at the end of the day I’m filing this under motivational because to me it is. Tragedy isn’t falling down, it’s staying down. I’m already up and running and so are all my peers.
I will blog about lighter topics tomorrow but for today hug your loved ones extra close and be safe.