Monday, April 15, 2013

Attacking Our Tribe

Running has always been my safe place.  In it, I could lose myself in my feelings, thoughts, and emotions. From a pimply faced, pear shaped, angry adolescent to a vegetarian, marathoning father, I have always felt comforted no matter what challenges I faced physically and emotionally out on the roads and trails. That bubble was burst today.

Having had the chance to run my boyhood dream of the Boston Marathon in 2010, I have come to look forward to Patriots Day through social media to follow what some might call Christmas for runners.  It's an exciting day, and my joy of seeing Shalane and Kara finish in the Top 6 of the race was decimated by news of a senseless act of violence at the finish line. Lives lost forever gone from the tribe.

We are all part of the same tribe. Pace, weight, height, distance covered are all irrelevant. When you lace up your shoes and head out the door for a run, you are part of the tribe. If you support that runner by standing at the finish line, handing out water at an aid station, or a word of encouragement from afar, you are part of the tribe.

If your like me, some of my strongest relationships have been forged out on the roads with fellow runners. We simply get each other. People from all different walks of life who we would probably not know elsewhere, we understand out there in the sweat and firing of muscles. It's that bond forged that makes an event like today so devastating.

Whatever message a person or group who felt they needed to do this to bring attention to their cause, they will get their 15 minutes of fame because that is what the popular media will give them. What they don't realize is that in attacking our tribe, we will circles the wagons and protect those out on the roads and trails. We will not relent and we will not forget.


Unknown said...

I agree with you totally. I just started running a couple of years ago and I too believe that I have gain so much from the running community. We are all a special kind of people. That was such a senseless act. I will praying for all those affected.

Travis said...

This has been a difficult day for me, DD. I'm a member of two "tribes" that this impacts. First, I'm a runner. I've been slacking off quite a bit over the past month, though, because life has been very busy for me. But I am signed up for Chicago in the fall (would be my 1st full). While yes, I'm a little concerned, I am also determined to run it more than ever now and pick up my running again.

Why have I been busy? Well, my other "tribe" is law enforcement (midwest; nowhere near Boston, but this tribe is big...just like runners). And I got promoted today. These attacks on our homeland anger me, and I have a deep desire to help in any way I can.

These emotions of being sickened, saddened, determined, patriotic, etc. can be difficult to deal with. It feels like 9/11 all over again, but feels like it is getting closer and closer to "home" for me...probably because it is impacting my "tribes."

Read your blog post here and it rang true with I thought I'd vent a little as this has really been consuming my thoughts today. My heart goes out to the runners, volunteers, families, first responders (these scenes are awful to work), etc.

Thanks for the post, and for the space to vent.

Jim said...

Well said.

Michael W said...

Well said, Mike. There is no sense in these many destructive acts. It is so much easier to destroy, to bomb, to kill than it would have been to train and qualify to run Boston. I choose to train and to create a more positive world. Maybe someday even work my way to Boston!