Some of you may remember my brief running career. While waiting for our kids to come home, I trained for and ran a half marathon with my husband. He’s the runner in our family and has done several marathons and triathlons. While I was losing my mind with waiting for a referral, I decided it would be a good idea for us to do a race together. So we did. It was my only race. It turns out I hate running. It’s a lot of work for me, and I don’t get a lot of fun out of it. But, in my brief stint as a runner, here are some things I learned about runners:
- They are determined. They run when it’s raining, when it’s snowing, when it’s uncomfortable, when it’s inconvenient. Nothing stops them.
- Their minds are as strong as their bodies. They study. They eat the right things – carbs before runs and proteins while training. They calculate everything…miles, speed, incline. They time things. They set goals. They push themselves.
- They are a team. Even though running is an individual sport, I’ve never seen more teamwork. People genuinely want to help others do better. When you see a marathon, there are always stories of someone helping someone else out. When runners see others runners struggling, they shout words of encouragement. I can’t tell you how many people along the half marathon route told me to keep going, not to give up. (Yes, they could see I was about to die.) And I can’t tell you what that does to you as a participant. It’s like a jolt of energy right when you need it.
Knowing these things, I was incredibly saddened to hear what happened in Boston. First elementary school kids. Now marathon runners. Who’s next? Nursing homes? Nuns? I better not have to see that Mr. Rogers quote again any time soon. I don’t want to tell my kids to look for the helpers. I want to tell them that they are safe. Boston, we’re thinking of you. We are all your team now, and we’ll shout words of encouragement as you run past.