I originally had a different post all ready to go for today. But after what happened yesterday during the Boston Marathon, I decided to postpone it. I am sure that every blogger out there will have a similar post to this, saying how our thoughts and prayers are with the runners and victimes of this horrific event. Because what else do you say?
There are still a lot of unanswered questions. We don’t know who is to blame. Maybe by the time this goes live on my blog we will. Maybe it was a foreign national, a terrorist attack not only on the United States, but on the 73 other countries that were represented in the marathon? Maybe it was a domestic terrorist, wanting to send some sick and twisted message through mass destruction?
Either way, they have one thing in common. Terror. A terrorist’s job isn’t just to kill, to injure. It’s to cause widespread terror. To make you hesitate every time you walk into a movie theater and wonder about the guy wearing a trench coat in the front row. To make you look over your shoulder as a woman wearing a burqa walks next to you. They want you to live in fear. To stop trusting your neighbor. To avoid crowded public spaces.
So the only thing I feel an urge to say is don’t let the terrorist win.
I’ve never been a runner. Mostly because my asthma is so bad that I stop breathing after a few minutes. But I used to be a dancer. I dedicated 3 hours, every day, for years at the dance studio, working with coaches, practicing until my dance shoes were bloody. And I can tell you that I have had, on more than one occasion, nightmares of losing my legs. A tragic car accident, even just a slip on the ice, would rob me of dance in a split second.
Maybe that’s why this particular incident is affecting me so strongly. Because I get it. I saw pictures of runners, people who have worked for so many hours, for so many years, robbed of their legs. And it breaks my heart.
But for those runners still out there, who are OK, whose thoughts are now racing with whether or not the next race will be safe. Just remember, don’t let the terrorist win. Don’t let them steal your joy, your passion. Don’t be scared of crossing the finish line.
Keep running. Keep competing. If only to honor the people who no longer can.