I heard the news on Twitter first, when I was taking a break from reading my students' poems, and then I forgot about the poems and spent the next hour clicking through image after image, video after video, message after message, trying to put together the story from the pieces that were rushing out of Boston. I felt sick, and horrified, and angry. I wondered what the world had come to, if there was any hope for the human race.
The Boston Marathon hits close to home. I've run marathons. I've cheered on the sidelines. I belong to the running and racing community, and I know that it's a place of camaraderie and acceptance, of challenges and victories. That someone, anyone, would want to attack that simple joy in such a violent way - it's just awful, and it makes me so deeply sad.
This morning I ran four miles in the sunshine, kept company by a cool breeze. I thought about Boston, and I felt grateful for this life, as fragile as it is. I thought about what it means to be a runner, to push myself through the hardest miles, to spend hours alone looping around my neighborhood, to pin a bib to my shirt and race against myself. Running didn't come easy to me - I fought for every mile - and I know that logging those miles, week after week, has made me a stronger, braver person. I know that I'll run another marathon one day, and when I do it'll be for more than just myself.
I'm not sure how to end this post. I wanted to write something inspiring and uplifting, but I'm just not there yet. So instead I will say this: Keep hoping. Keep loving. And, no matter what happens, keep running.