Not sure how yesterday hit you, but for me, it was rough. Watching the sadness that happened at the Boston Marathon broke my heart. I hurt for so many people: the victims, the families of the victims, the Bostonians and especially the runners.
I'm obviously not a professional runner, but I do love to run. I began running when I was 13 and just haven't stopped. Running has been a very important part of my life, and I'm certain that it's played a huge role in shaping me because of the peace it brings each time I head out the door. Some days are smoother and faster than others, but every mile logged has given me time to think outdoors that I wouldn't trade for the world. As my body settles into a pace, my thoughts tend to do so as well---it's a rhythm I love and trust deeply.
People run for a hundred reasons. They run to keep their body strong and healthy, to relieve stress or to prepare for a race. They train in groups for a sense of community or alone for a feeling of closeness to God. People run in honor of other people, for people that can't and for charities. My reasons are a mix of those, combined with the fact that a lot of times, running just feels like the best prayer I can say. I feel like I can show God how thankful I am for giving me a body that moves. It gives me time to talk to Him about whatever is filling my brain. I get to admire His creation and appreciate the flowers and the trees and every sweet downhill he plants along my route. I give thanks for the amazing runners who have influence my life, like my grandpa, who loved telling people about how he won gold medals in his age brackets because he was only guy racing in his eighties.
I've run two marathons and several halves thus far. I remember what it's like to see the 26 mile marker and the finish line a few feet in front of you. Everything that hurts fades away and any not-so-positive thoughts transform into, "This is happening! I am here! This is the best day of my life!" Or it least, it went that way for me. So when I watch the race unfold yesterday, I ached for all those runners because I didn't want them to miss their big moment, or for those who had already finished, to have that day scarred by such a terrible act.
But, the one thing that reassures me that it will be ok, is also the reason why I run. Because I know that God is bigger. And the same God who made it possible for us to run will help us to keep running. The running community that I know will keep on keepin' on along the sidewalks, mountain trails, and country roads because it's what they do. The things that call them out of their homes and onto the streets wearing running shoes and Nike shorts will continue to do so with hope and faith, myself included.
"But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31
Lots of love, Caitlin