I’m a runner. I was a runner long before I was a derby girl, and it’s a passion with which I’ve long identified.
Still, I have yet to run a marathon. Or even a half marathon — even though one of my typical runs, I’ve come pretty freaking close.
I often find it to be strange, really. But a few years back, I remember talking to the vet where I took my dogs. She was a part of a running club and had a couple of marathons under her belt. I was running several miles in a day back then, yet it seemed to me that I was the only person on the planet not running one. I was starting to feel left out and, quite honestly, a bit depressed that a long-time runner like myself had never dared to tackle one.
Her response to me was eyeopening: You can run a marathon when you’re 90. Play roller derby until you can’t anymore, then concentrate on that new goal.
She was right. It was really ridiculous of me to feel that way when I had been focusing all of my efforts on playing roller derby.
When I eventually broke my collarbone, I was struck with one thought, which was, “Thank God it was my collarbone and not my leg.” At this age, any broken bone is a hard thing to overcome. But considering how in love with skating and running I am, I immediately knew I’d be heartbroken if something happened to one of my legs.
And this is just one of the many reasons why I’ve found the Boston Marathon bombing particularly devastating.
I’m sure I’m not the only runner out there whose heart sunk when they learned about what happened to so many active, healthy individuals at the most elite marathon in existence.
What would I do if suddenly lost my ability to run?
I tend to think I’d be inconsolable.
But then again, maybe I’m wrong.
These people were there because they are strong, passionate athletes who can obviously overcome obstacles. Something tells me when they’ve healed — both physically and mentally — they’ll be back, ready to take on the new challenges they’ll now face.
Given these circumstances, has my outlook changed? Absolutely not. In fact, I’m even more motivated than ever to run a marathon. I can and I will, and my goal is to run them time and time again.
As our country tries to bounce back from yet another threat on our freedom, my hope is that those affected directly by this attack will be able to come back stronger than ever. My heart is with them all.