The unthinkable

It’s hard to know what to say in situations like this. Many poignant things have already been worded by people far more eloquent than me. I will likely never run the Boston Marathon, and I was on the other side of the country when the tragedy occurred, but I have been deeply grieved by the soul-splitting horror of what happened.

There are photos that I can’t unsee. Spectators, mothers, fathers, friends, sons, daughters, loved ones writhing on the ground surrounded in blood, clutching mangled legs, their lives changed in a second. I felt flashes of anger at photographers who would stand there taking pictures of such terror and not try to help the suffering people splayed in front of them.  And then I thought of all the finish lines I’ve crossed, of the family that’s come to watch me run. What if that was MY dad laying on the ground with his legs blown off, just for coming to watch me? The thought sickened me. I couldn’t get the Boston victims out of my mind. So many lives will never be the same again.

At first my instinct was to go with fear, to pull out of the races I’ve committed to, to never toe a starting line again. But I don’t want to live in fear – I don’t want to let the criminals get what they want.

And you know, I have never really liked my legs – they’re on the thicker side, and bowed, my knees are kind of knobby, my calves are kind of big, they do the weird gumby-legs thing when I’m tired – but never have I been more thankful to have them.

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