15 April 2014

Boston Strong

I went for one of my first long runs of the season last weekend after a many-month long hiatus due to injury.  I was also breaking in new shoes to try to help with said injury.... One mile in and I thought I was going to gnaw off my own leg because the pain was unbearable.  It was like every muscle was so tight that I thought they could snap.  I literally had to fight back tears thinking that I had to give up again - that I was going to have to turn back and keep waiting.  After so many months of not being able to run, I felt defeated by my injuries and my own body.  

Sometimes as a runner, it's hard not to feel defeated.  Today marks a year since the bombings at the Boston Marathon.  Looking at articles and photographs of the progress and tenacity of those who were involved & injured gives new hope that we have come out of yet another senseless act of violence, stronger.  I took a moment today to read through my posts from this time last year - PRAYERS & CARE BEAR - remembering those feelings and dealing with my own pain and anxiety after 9/11. 

I do, wholeheartedly, believe that the moments in our lives are there for a reason.  The struggles, the pain, the questioning - they are all a part of growth and moving forward.  Sometimes it is the very converse of what makes us happy that allows for us to truly appreciate the good we have in our life.  We woke up to snow this morning and as much as no one wanted to see that it after finally feeling spring temperatures, it does remind us to take a moment to appreciate what makes us happy. 

Even this past week when talking with mon petit soeur V about her break-up, my advice was that even though tempted, not to erase photos or get rid of mementos because they are a part of her story.  The moments with K were happy ones for the most part and just because their chapter is over, she shouldn't erase that.  Those moments, those experiences, it's all a part of what has made her who she is.  And what has gotten her to this very moment to do exactly what she is meant to do and to love someone eventually who will never let her go. My big sisterly advice was to take it all and box it up and store it away - as I did - because one day she is going to have a daughter or niece who will feel like they are dying from a broken heart.  And she can pull that box of memories out and show them that she too knew great love & felt as they do but that, within herself, she found the strength to pick up, move on and be happy once again.  We are all stronger with every heart break and with every moment that causes us pause.  Within each of us, lies that invincible summer.

The runners, spectators and people of Boston are all stronger for the events of this past year.  There are many who suffered from this moment but have found a way to walk again, to run again and to look ahead.  I know after many challenges and sudden loss in my life, I find myself more inclined to appreciate every day. To be empathetic to others struggles and to appreciate every challenge, because with it comes learning and growth.  And to push through because sometimes it's just a matter of holding on and putting one foot in front of other.  I gave myself another mile during that tortuous run and found that after a good stretch in a church parking lot along Riverside Drive I eventually found my groove.  At the end I looked back and was grateful that I kept pushing - in the end of my time here in this crazy world I hope to look back and be just as grateful.  That with everything I have faced and with each heart break or struggle I have conquered, I have become stronger. Happier. Content.  Resiliency is not an easy thing to master and yet it lies within each of us.  Daily we have the choice to succumb to the negative or find the ray of hope to hold on to.  As a runner taking today to remember the tragedy in Boston just a short year ago is a reminder that everything can change in an instant.  Take a chance on something or someone.  Run, Live, Work, Love with all your heart.  

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