I wasn’t going to write a post about what happened on Monday. I wasn’t running, spectating or volunteering and I didn’t have any family members there. But I can’t stop thinking about it, and I can’t go back to regular posting until its discussed here.
If you live in the Boston area, odds are you know someone who has run the Boston Marathon or have run it yourself. Or you may know someone who has watched it or volunteered at it or done so yourself.
If you’re a runner, there’s a chance that the Boston Marathon (or any marathon) is on your list of goals.
If you’re a human being, you probably find comfort in familiar places and spaces and feel connected with them and the memories you have there.
If you fall into any of the above categories, you felt some emotion on Monday. Personally, I initially felt what my cousin was able to put into words: I felt like someone attacked my friends and people I want to emulate. It made me sad and mad and confused. My first thoughts immediately went to the race (where I have volunteered) and what its like to be there and what its like to run a race and finish and all the emotions that are already there. And my heart broke for all the runners who were there and everyone else who was in that area.
And since then I, like many others, have been watching the news, my Twitter feed, and anything I see that has to do with it. I’ve had trouble pulling myself away. Its everywhere and it has made me feel for people who live in areas where major tragedies like this happen. I’m thinking of victims and their families and their road ahead as multiple funds are being created for them. And at various points in the coverage, I still feel sad, mad and confused. We all want answers and we’re expecting people to act a certain way. In person and in social media, some people talk about it nonstop, some people are still somber and some people are pretending like it never happened. People are all dealing with it differently, and some people are choosing not to deal with it publicly and that’s okay. Some people have chosen to not have it on their TV at all times, possibly because they have small children at home or are ready to go back to normal life and that’s okay. Some people jump on every small bit of verified or unverified information and share it as quickly as possible, (the blessing and curse of social media) and that’s okay.
I’m reminding myself of what I tell kids that I work with: You cannot control the actions of others. You can only control yourself and your reactions. I will continue dealing with it in my way, just like everyone else. I love hearing stories of the first responders, runners who finished and kept running to help, and bystanders who stepped in and did more than they probably thought they could. I will keep waving and smiling and tearing up at runners I see this week, processing information, and watching and reflecting, because those are my reactions. I love Boston, I love running, and I love the good in people.
If you are looking to help financially, check out The One Fund. If you are looking to be with other runners, look to Facebook, Twitter and the internet for a group run in your area. If you need someone to talk to, there are multiple resources set up to help.
Take care of yourself, everyone.