Runners Unite

Last week’s news of the bombings at the Boston Marathon shook the world. How could someone do this?

I normally try to avoid the news as everything is always depressing. Yet some events, like this one, get everyone talking.

The whole thing kind of rattled me as I have run in a few races over the past year. As well, one of my good friends is training hard for her first ever marathon.

I knew I wanted to write about my feelings, yet I wasn’t sure how to express them until I read a Facebook post by Ben Zander a friend had shared.

Carol Burnett’s mother woke up everyday and made a decision. She then said: “I love my life.”

He gave the following assignment to Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra this past week: Wake up each day, think about it for a moment, then say “I love my life.”

One of his students had expressed difficulties with this assignment as she knew people who had been directly involved in this week’s event. How could she say she loved her life when she knew so many people had suffered?

I have always found it most important to go through a gratitude list when troubling times occur. This can shift your thoughts from worry and despair to thoughts of love, light and hope. The simple act of reminding yourself how grateful you are that your loved ones were safe. Or if you or a loved one were affected by the blasts, that the kindness of strangers to assist those that were injured. Another friend had shared with me that she had seen images of runners taking off their fuel belts to act as make shift tourniquets.

I am grateful to call myself a runner. As a runner it takes a lot of motivation, will power and determination to get yourself across the finish line. Whether it is a small race or the race of your life. Remember, you have taken the first step. One that many fear. There is no can’t!

My prayer is that these bombings will only make people stronger. I pray that the people affected by this event will be empowered to stay strong. I pray for those who have lost limbs to have the courage to carry on and once again race in the marathon. I pray for these people to keep moving forward one step at a time. Sure it is easy to give up and quit, yet it is another thing to have the strength to carry on.

The last half-marathon I ran, my legs felt like they were giving out on me at the 15 km marker. I started to cry. I simply wanted to lie down on the road and quit and cry. My friend whom I was running with is a breast cancer survivor. I helped to get her to this race. She was running ahead of me, and I swallowed my pride and told myself I cannot quit! Jenn would never quit, so I cannot quit! I have to finish this race for Jenn. It was at that point I decided to simply walk the last 6 km. I made it to the finish, and I did a personal best.

Bostonian’s, marathoners, fellow runners, and everyone. Never give up! You can do it. Even if you have to crawl across that finish line, you can do it!

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The first picture is of my friend Jenn and I after we completed our first half-marathon together at the 2012 Calgary Marathon. The second picture is my husband Ryan pushing my 2 daughters with me running to the finish line at the 2012 Melissa’s Road Race. The last picture is of my friend Jenn and I just before we ran the 2012 Melissa’s Road Race.

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