Boston

On a perfect spring day in May of 2010 I did something that I never thought I would do-I ran a half marathon. I was 29 years old that year and decided to make my last year in my 20’s the year to accomplish some things that I never thought I would do. For as long as I can remember I hated to run. A big reason for that was the asthma I have struggled with since childhood. Any time that I would run my breathing would get wild and out of control sending me into a state of near panic. It had such a hold over me that I decided to conquer it by running 13.1 miles. I mentioned my idea to Joel and he decided to join me in my training. We picked the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon for our race of choice. I was an 8th grader when the Murrah building was bombed. That event had such a profound impact on my life that has never lessened or faded with time. I knew that a race that honored the victims of that brutal day would be the perfect event for me. We trained for months for this race. Joel took to it likea champ practically floating with ease every time he ran. I, on the other hand, was struggling to control my breathing, and the farthest thing from floating that there was, gimping and injury prone. I hated every minute of training for the race but I was committed and there was no turning back no matter what. We lined up at the starting line before dawn Joel a few feet in front of me and my parents in the crowd cheering us on. The starting line was dimly lit by the light of the bombing memorial which honors the victims of such a horrific tragedy. I remember crying several times throughout the race as I felt so loved and supported by complete strangers who lined the streets to cheer me on. This was an event and experience that was truly like no other. I had never felt such joy before as I did when I crossed that finish line with Joel, friends and family there to gather and congratulate me. I had done it-13.1 miles. The run wasn’t easy but the day was blissful the atmosphere electric. I thought back to that day many times yesterday as I watched the news coverage of the Boston Marathon unfold. That race could have so easily been my race. The finish line could have contained my husband, friends, and family waiting to embrace and congratulate me just as it did yesterday’s victims. Marathons are such a special event full of endurance, perseverance, support and love. No one should ever have to fear for their lives while attending such an event. People in this world have worked hard to make us fear for our lives at places such as malls, elementary schools, movie theatres, and now marathons. It makes me angry. I am signed up to participate in a race in 3 weeks. I am now faced with a decision to do the race or not to do the race. If I do the race do I not bring my son as we had planned? I wanted nothing more than to see him as I crossed the finish line of my first post-baby run-now I am left to question if it would be safe for him there? Should avoiding large crowds of people become our new normal? And what is a good amount of healthiness in keeping your loved ones safe but not missing out on things in life by doing so? I am still working through the answer to those questions because now the truth is that I just don’t know. What I do know is this, yesterday was a perfect spring day in May with an atmosphere that was blissful and electric-until it wasn’t. What started as a day of excitement and elation ended with shock, confusion and death. What was the finishing line-where people gathered to tell their love ones that they loved them and they were proud of them-became a place of unspeakable horror and carnage. We have horrific tragedy in this world yet again. It should have never been this way. It was a perfect spring day.

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