I have said on here many times that I am not a fast runner. I am not an experienced runner. On my best day, I am an average runner. But, in the aftermath of the horrific events in Boston, I am proud to be able to say I am a runner.
The immediate, passionate outpouring of support the running community has shown for the victims in Boston has been inspiring. From running 4.09 miles in support of those in Boston, to wearing race shirts and Boston Marathon colors, to organizing runs in honor and memory of the victims, the running community had stepped forward in inspiring ways. I am proud to be a part of such a close knit community. Most never knew any of the victims at the Boston marathon, and yet, they treat them as one of thier own: members of the running family. I am proud to be a runner.
Now, I know it is easy to show support like this. It is easy to do something you do 3 or more times a week anyway, and say it is in honor of someone else. It is easy to step up in times like this. Yet, the earnest expressions of support seem to be more than that. What I have seen does not appear to be borne out of convenience. It seems to be coming from the heart. I am proud to be a runner.
The running community was attacked. Not just the runners, but the entire community, including the spectators (an integral part of the running community), friends, and families. Rather than shrinking away, the reaction I have seen is one of defiance. I have seen a re-dedication to run more races to show that we cannot be deterred. There are countless efforts to raise money and awareness for the victims. I am proud to be a runner.
I plan to keep running. But as it was with my short training run today, running from now on will be filled with thoughts of those who can no longer run due to the cowardly acts in Boston. Rather than thinking of the pain I am going through, I hope my thoughts continue to turn to being thankful for the blessing to keep doing this. Thankful for the ability to get out and run, to feel that pain. I hope I can keep remembering that I am part of a larger community: One that seems filled with respect and admiration for other members of that community, no matter their role.
I am slow. I am average. But I am a runner. I am proud to be a runner.