Three years ago my life changed, I decided that I was going to find myself. Get back to the core of what I want in my life and I found running. It started one day because I decided to put on my sneakers and do it. The person I am now would laugh at my crappy first running shoes but it got me there. I ran my first 5K and finally accomplished something I had set out to do. I believed in myself and I found happiness in the moments that my feet were moving.
Most days when I’m at home you’ll find MSNBC on at my house so moments after I heard about tragedy in Boston I tweeted my friend Sarah. I knew Sarah was running the Boston Marathon and I immediately tweeted her. At 4 hours into the race I knew she would have been done already but I hadn’t looked at her stream, I thought what if she had hung around at the end to be a good blogger and take photos and such. She quickly tweeted back letting everyone know she was okay, she recounted her experience on her site.
It’s a dream of mine to run a half marathon. I dream of being able to run a marathon. With every step I am one step closer to my goal. I may not have been in Boston but there is a respect that runners feel for one another. I look up to runners like Sarah, I am inspired by their resilience. I am the runner who would have made it to the finish line 4 or 5 hours into the race. There’s something so human about the feeling of your heart beating and your head racing and your feet pounding.
I cry often when running. When I run I feel so much more in touch with myself, my feelings, my emotions. My husband and I joke that I have to go and run and that when I come back everything is again at peace in the world. It’s true. Running makes me happy, I feel balanced. I feel the same way about dancing. There’s just some place your soul goes and you become free. Free from pain, and hurt, the past, the guilt, I’m free from it all. I confront it and I feel it and I put my energy into letting it go. My favorite moments are when my entire body rushes and I get goosebumps and I push further. I feel my best in those moments – I know I am free.
Today I cried – I breathed in deep and I cried. I had just passed 2.7 miles and I could feel all the tension in my body go away. By 3 and a half miles I once again was free from my tears. I don’t know how it feels to have run in the Boston Marathon but one day I hope to be a part of something that big. Every step I run I’m working at it. I will finish the race. I will keep going.
“We may be momentarily knocked off our feet. But we’ll pick ourselves up. We’ll keep going. We will finish the race.”
“This time next year, on the third Monday in April, the world will return to this great American city to run harder than ever and cheer even louder for the 118th Boston Marathon,”
– Barack Obama 4/18/2013