Post by Jannine Myers
Still reeling from the aftermath of yet another cowardly terrorist attack, I sit here thinking about those who were at the Boston marathon last Monday, and I grieve for them. As runners, this tragedy has hit us hard, but that's not to say that we grieve less for the victims of other mindless attacks. It was not so long ago, for instance, that we ran in silence and mutually grieved for the children who were massacred in Connecticut. They were just babies, whose violent deaths shook us to our cores and caused us to feel the pain of their loss as if they were our own.
No, it matters not who the victims are, we will always grieve. But last week's attack came at us from an angle that particularly hurt. Many of the victims were runners, and metaphorically speaking, they were all members of one large global running family - a family that runners everywhere, us included, are a part of. When the explosions were detonated, sending deadly pieces of shrapnel and ball bearings into the path of approaching runners (as well as supporters standing near each of the bomb sites), the grim, emotional impact was also felt by all of us at home.
As we try to make sense of it all, no answers come. We continue to mourn for those who were killed, and for those who are still fighting for their lives, and for those who lost limbs. And we recognize that among those who lost lower limbs, are some who are runners. We realize that the loss of life, and the possibility of death are the worst possible realities, but for a runner, losing a leg may seem worse than death. Many runners would rather die than live a life without being able to run.
But we also know that runners are fighters; they're resilient and courageous, and they don't stay down for long. We know that our fellow brothers and sisters who were affected in some way by this tragedy, will one day rise up from this terrible ordeal and most likely stand again at the start of the Boston marathon, ready to run it again, but next time with an attitude that promises to smack of defiance and a triumphant return.
They won't be alone either; I'm willing to bet that next year's Boston marathon will be overflowing with both runners and supporters. You might think this is an odd comparison, but runners are a little like cockroaches. Watch what happens when you try to stomp them out - they seem to multiply and come back at you with a vengeance. Well guess what, that's what you see happening in the running community all over the world right now.
We took it personally, and now we want revenge. Not the kind of revenge that reeks of sub-human abominable behavior, but the kind of revenge that makes a statement and tells those who assault us that we won't scamper away and crawl into little holes, never to be seen again. On the contrary, we're coming out in force and showing them instead, that we'll run even more, and we'll run in greater numbers, and we'll run against opposition, not from it.
If you wish to make a financial contribution to help the families of those most affected by this tragedy, the City of Boston has set up a fund - just go to onefundboston.org