Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Silver Linings....

My fiance is spectacular. He reposted this image above on my facebook page this morning from RunUMother.

It brought tears to my eyes. All my life, I never thought I'd ever be able to run a marathon... I was not a runner. Never had been (other than a brief few years in grade school where I was better at shot put than anything else). My sister - she was the runner - the cross country record setter. But then one day, 2 years ago, I started running. I ran every day.

When I started I couldn't even run 1 mile. I walked some and I set a goal to do 3 miles a day... just get in the distance and run as much as I could. Walk/Run/Walk/Jog/Die a little/Walk/Jog/Sprint home at the very end... I was able to run 1 mile, then 2, then 3. I was a runner. Not a great one, but I got a little better at it every day. I remembered things my sister taught me and used them like a mantra. When I got weary, I'd think to myself "I can do this. I can do this", sometimes I'd even say it out loud in tune with my breathing. In through your nose, out through your mouth.... I can do this.... elbows in, punch punch.... let your arms help your momentum.... I can do this... knees up... roll through your toes...I loved every second of it.When I lost motivation, I'd tell myself I just needed to get out a 1/2 hour to think. Just do 1 mile, and once I was out there, just me and the pavement, I'd make it at least 3 miles before heading home. Some days I was fast, some days I was slow. It didn't matter because I was doing it.

I ran my first 5k, 5 miler, The Broad Street Run, and a 1/2 marathon. I was addicted...to the me-time, to the head clearing, to the thrill of pushing myself just a little further, then just a little faster... I raced other people, I played games my sister taught me like find a person ahead of you and catch up to them. If  I crossed paths with someone running my route, I'd change directions and try to beat them back to that point. I seriously have enjoyed every second and every step of every run I've ever taken. I know I am so lucky that I love it so much because I know so many people who absolutely hate running.

I'm not a great runner, but I'm a runner. I haven't run a marathon yet but I would like to some day. I dream about qualifying for Boston. When Jay and I were in Boston last spring, we walked down Boyleston St. to dinner one night and we talked about how fun it would be if we had come a week later so that we could watch the Marathon. We chatted with a few people who were in town for the race, we daydreamed about how awesome it would be if we could run it too.

Today I find myself thankful that I didn't qualify but hurting for those who were there. I'm thankful to be part of such a wonderful group of amazing people. The people who run toward the bombs to help instead of away to save themselves. The finishers who gave away their medals to others who didn't get to cross the finish line. These are AMAZING people! They are what 99.9% of us strive to be good. We want to be "the Helpers", we want to show how strong we are when we're struck in a moment of weakness. When our vulnerability is attacked by the malignant few, we want to be the light in the darkness.

Read about Laura Wellington's story that she shared on Facebook below.... 

As some of you know, I was 1/2 mile from the finish line when the explosion went off. I had no idea what was going on until I finally stopped and asked someone. Knowing that my family was at the finish line waiting for me, I started panicking, trying to call them. Diverted away from the finish line, I started walking down Mass Ave towards Symphony Hall still not knowing where my family was. Right before the intersection of Huntington, I was able to get in touch with Bryan and found out he was with my family and they were safe. I was just so happy to hear his voice that I sat down and started crying. Just couldn't hold it back. At that moment, a couple walking by stopped. The woman took the space tent off her husband, who had finished the marathon, and wrapped it around me. She asked me if I was okay, if I knew where my family was. I reassured her I knew where they were and I would be ok. The man then asked me if I finished to which I nodded "no." He then proceeded to take the medal off from around his neck and placed it around mine. He told me "you are a finisher in my eyes." I was barely able to choke out a "thank you" between my tears.

Odds are I will never see this couple again, but I'm reaching out with the slim chance that I will be able to express to them just what this gesture meant to me. I was so in need of a familiar face at that point in time. This couple reassured me that even though such a terrible thing had happened, everything was going to be ok.

We are all going to be ok.