Last night when I heard that one of the victims of the Boston Marathon attack was an 8-year-old child my already sunken heart took yet another dive into the waters of disbelief. The senseless killing of adults is one level of horrible for my heart and mind to try to digest, but when you add children…
As many of you know, I love to run. It wasn’t always that way. There was a season in my life when I gave up running. It was after I completed a season on the cross-country team in the 8th grade. It was then I discovered I wasn’t any good at running. In every practice run with the team I was the slowest runner. It was frustrating and yet I made a decision during the season (thanks to my supportive coach) that I would stay on the team. I decided that no matter how slow I ran each race, I would keep running. The one thing I wouldn’t do during a race was stop, give up, and walk.
That decision paid off during the last meet of the season. After coming in last at every single meet, I was able to pass one runner on the opposing team who had given up and decided to walk. When my teammates saw me coming toward the finish line they cheered me on from the sidelines…some even ran along side me.
I wish I could say the experience left me motivated to keep trying new things, but it didn’t. I crossed the finish line that day and I stopped running. I was scared of trying something new and not being any good at it. I was scared of coming in last. I was scared I would fail again.
Years later, I was encouraged to begin running again. A fellow coworker helped me to see that just because I ran at a slower pace didn’t make me a failure.
Over the last few years I’ve participated in a couple of 10Ks and a couple of 1/2 marathons. Today, I run for the joy of running. Today, I run to finish the race.
“In running, it doesn’t matter whether you come in first, the middle of the pack, or last. You can say ‘I have finished.’ There is a lot of satisfaction in that.” ~Unknown
My heart breaks for the lives that were cut short yesterday. My heart breaks for the those who have lost their limbs or their loved ones.
Today, I’m heading out for a run. I’ll be running in honor of those who can’t. I will run the race and not stop. I will step across the finish line for them.