Home > Trip > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2013 > Daily Dispatch #106

April 16, 2012: Doesn’t Make Sense

I am, like everyone else, stunned, saddened, and appalled by what happened yesterday in Boston. Such things usually happen at the distance – the further away, the less emotional we feel. Bombs have been going off routinely in the past many years in the Middle East. This one was closer to home.

It also struck home because I’ve run marathons, and in fact, in 2002 was 4 minutes from qualifying to run in the Boston Marathon. You can’t just go and do this. You have to run the marathon distance in a set time that’s in

accordance with your age group. I’ve also spent considerable time in Boston. It’s a great place.

What happened is so unfair –active people in their running prime, people who after experiencing a lot of running related pain, who had just or were about to cross the finish line were killed and injured. And this happened to their well-wishers, family members, friends, onlookers as well.

To finish is a major achievement, a culmination of years of intense training. Finding the time to do this, and to do it right, is a major feat, as is breaking through the 18 mile pain barrier at Heartbreak Hill. Running marathons is all about making the mind-body connection. Running marathons does not come naturally to human beings. It’s a super human effort, no matter what age you are.

I was coming home from yoga this morning and was listening to the stories of victims. One woman had two sons running – both lost their legs. Hearing this, I burst into tears. For once, I was affected deeply by bad news. Imagine waking up in a hospital bed after running a marathon and realizing that you had no legs. Your life would change radically. These people aren’t couch potatoes. They are people who take great joy in being active. I joke around about some things being life’s greatest unfairness, but this really is it.

My heart aches for all these people. There’s a local runner, Liz, who ran Boston this year. She’s 65 and has just one lung. We don’t know where she is, just that she’s okay. I suspect that she was in the group that was stopped right after things happened, right before the finish. She was close to running a four hour marathon. The blasts went off at 4:09. Had she run faster, she might have been killed. A very sobering thought.

I heard an emergency room doctor say on the radio that he hopes that there’s a Boston Marathon next year, that terrorists ought not be able to get away with this. I hope that there is, but at the same time wonder about how this is going to affect the mindset of future runners. Such individuals would be very brave indeed, to even consider this.

The hardest thing of all – and I don’t know if I have it in me – is to find a way to forgive whoever did this, for doing this. Right now forgiveness seems like the furthest thing from my mind. It’s actually incomprehensible. I mean, I can’t comprehend opening my heart and forgiving someone. I can intellectualize it,
but I can’t bring myself to do it.

Right now, feeling bad for all involved is the best I can do.

Next: 107. 4/17/13: Little Horse, Big Plans