Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Runner's High and Humanity's Lows

This past weekend, four of my girlfriends and I went up to Scotland to run the Edinburgh Rock N' Roll Half Marathon.  If you aren't an avid runner and haven't done a race that requires that kind of training, you should think about it.  No matter what shape you are in.  It's a feeling of pride, of pain, of personal gratification that is rarely felt.  My girlfriends and I trained together, spending a few hours each weekend and several afternoons during the week chatting and running.  Through this training, I found out what kind of friends I have and what kind of friend I want to be.  It's more than just training for a race - it's also amazing bonding time.

After our race, through the wind and the rain, hail at a few points (seriously, Scotland?  Hail in April??  I was on your side with haggis.  I gave you a chance to be amazing.  And then hail??  That's not cool), we pushed and struggled and pushed some more.  We gave high fives to little kids, thanked policemen who braved the elements to stop traffic, waved to people on the street who cheered us on. 

And then today, I woke up still sore and groggy and checked Facebook while procrastinating work.  That was when I saw about 20 posts about Boston.  "WTF happened in Boston?"  My heart sank.  Who bombs a marathon?  My first thought was "May God bless our children and the world that they will grow up in."  Columbine happened when I was in middle school.  A guy killed himself in my high school parking lot when I was a senior.  A girl gave birth to a baby and drowned it in the girl's bathroom.  9/11.  Shootings at Virginia Tech.  Shootings at a movie theater.  Shootings at an elementary school.  Violence surrounds us.  My heart seems to sink lower and lower and I find myself wondering how we can ever change it.  How can we ever go back to a place that can simply celebrate what is good in our world, in our every day lives, in the simplicity of being happy?  After a weekend surrounded by Scots with their adorable accents where I would not have ever thought that I was in danger, I turned on the news to see violence in my home country at an event where people raise thousands and thousands of dollars for charity.  And someone bombed it. 

Whoever you are that did this, where ever you are, you are a hateful person.  You destroyed lives and families.  People will never be the same because of you.  I pray for those who were injured.  For those who were hurt.  For those whose lives will never again be as bright or as hopeful.  For you, I pray for happier days, for healthier tomorrows, for the support of your friends, for all of the good things that this life has to offer.  For you all, I say an extra prayer.  And for the person who did this to my country, to my fellow runners, I pray that God has mercy on you - because you must have no mercy of your own.

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