I've known a lot of runner's throughout my life. One of my oldest and dearest friends has a father who still runs and he's well into his sixties. Another close friend started running when we were in our early twenties and I was amazed by her transformation; she still runs despite owning her own law firm and raising four children. My brother in-law does at least one triathlon a year. Two of my sisters have both completed 1/2 marathons and are committed to running. They look and feel wonderful. I'm incredibly proud of them and a little bit envious. I've dabbled in running over the years but have never been able to run more than 3 or 4 miles non-stop. Lately I've been thinking about trying it out again. I strongly doubt I'd ever aim to run a full marathon because I'm not convinced it's the healthiest thing for a body - not mine anyway. I know the type of havoc it wreaks on the knees and ankles but I was shocked when my sister wrote a post a few years back about her toenails turning black after a race, which is apparently a common occurrence in runners. Suddenly running didn't seem so appealing any more.
And then Monday happened in Boston. (My home town of Halifax, Nova Scotia has a special bond with Boston. If any of you are history buffs, you will get the connection.) I don't know anyone personally from Boston, nor anyone who was running that race; But like the rest of the world I'm full of anger and disgust at the sick people who are behind the horrible atrocities that seem to be occurring more frequently. I'm mortified that some sick shit didn't think that an explosion or two would be enough, but that ball bearings and nails needed to be thrown into the mix.
Aside from the worry of how dangerous a place this world is becoming I also have concerns that people are becoming more self-involved as time marches on; it seems that the more technology advances, the less time people want to spend with each other. And then something terrible happens and everyone comes together in their shock and fear and like most of you undoubtedly feel, I too believe that there is more good in the world than bad; that there are people who care about other people, strangers or not. It's very clear from all the posts and photos circulating this week that humanity is most definitely in abundance when it comes to marathons, as is so beautifully captured here. (I found this post by Kate via Julie, a witty and talented blogger I enjoy reading). Unlike a lot of other sporting events where spectators yell obscenities at the players, referee's and other spectator's (never mind the fighting that goes on between the actual team members) marathons seem to attract the complete opposite. Whereas most sports involve participants who are paid a ridiculous amount of money for personal gain, it would seem that most marathon runner's have a valid reason for putting their bodies through such torture. It seems that for most it's about more than achieving a personal goal or proving a point to themselves (which would be reason enough) it's about raising awareness and money for charities and people who can't run for themselves. I've always known this, but I've never really noticed how it's about so much more than just running until I read Kate's post following Monday's events. How so many people are with each other, running or not - encouraging and cheering each other on. It's a brilliant and poignant post about people and how there is so much joy surrounding these events. And it makes me think that maybe it's something I want to be a part of.
For years I've thought about signing up for the Race for Life (Run for the Cure), and nevermore so than after my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. Thinking about something isn't enough so today the procrastination stops.
I've signed up for the local Race For Life and on Sunday, 19th May, at the age of 40 I will attempt to run a race for the first time ever. I will be doing it for my mother, sisters and nieces. I will be doing it for everyone out there who can't. Most importantly I will be doing it for me, because it's something I can be a part of for such a good cause and I want to participate in an event that is focused on our strong spirits and the goodness that is always going to triumph over the awful things that happen to us, be it cancer or horrible acts of violence.
It won't be 26 miles, but it's something.
I want to thank all of you out there who inspire and encourage others on a daily basis - it matters more than you might ever know.