No doubt acts of terror have always had deep implications and stirred emotional responses from across the country. I know I have shared in the common outrage that stems from such irrational crimes against innocent people. To think that my friends' and their children (and babies) were targets of something evil causes my stomach to churn and adrenaline to flood my veins. Now, I sit here in my running shorts, trying to focus my thoughts and emotions into words. More than ever before, I feel someone has attacked me in a deeply personal way. Maybe it's because I can so easily picture myself or friends on the finish line of a marathon, or standing around cheering in runners while enjoying the sunshine - more so than I could imagine myself in the WTC during 9/11 or in Oklahoma City during the OK City bombing.
My facebook and twitter feed is filled with runners expressing outrage and horror, to an overwhelming aspect - and I realized the running community is my extended family. I had to turn off my social media for a little while yesterday, it was just too much. To think that the same friends and their families that I have met through running were the targets of an evil act makes this feel so much more personal. These are people and friends who have taken me into their homes, shared their beer, and even bummed me a gel or two. That's perhaps one of the most beautiful and simple and pure things about running.
All you have to do is run, and you're a member of this fraternity, seriously it's that simple. Sure there are all sorts of weird groups and cliques of runners, but we all love each other despite our differences and abilities. I'm going to incriminate myself here, but I can be a judgmental dick, however judging other runners? I won't judge you as long as you're out there trying.
I'm going to smile at every runner and person I see today during my run. We are so unbelievably lucky to live in a world were we have extra calories to burn, time to run, and generally safe streets to run on. Sometimes I think I take this for granted. Not today. Today is a celebration of those things and of human locomotion.
Sometimes people are shy when running. I used to be shy when I ran. I'd try not to make eye contact with the fast looking guys and girls. Sometimes people don't smile, especially when it hurts so bad your quads are locking up. Today I'm going to smile at every single person I see while running, I hope some runners smile back. If the non-runners driving around campus want to call me names, I'll smile at them too. You see, there is something about running with a huge smile that people can't help but notice. We all run for different reasons, but we can all enjoy it. I'm going to take today to simply enjoy running for running's sake and I hope others will too.
My sincerest condolences to those affected by such an insane act of evil. I know some peoples lives will never be the same and I hope that those of us who were unaffected can appreciate the amazing world we live in a little bit more this week.