Originally, when I was thinking about this post, I was just going to talk about my ankle injury and related issues. That idea was entirely shredded when yesterday's events happened. I will still get around to updating you on my own little world, but it amazing how quickly one's issues can be put into crystal clear perspective.
More than a year ago I joined a community of runners, and I didn't even know I was doing so. It took me months before I began to reach out on this blog and other social media looking for like-minded individuals to learn from and share with, and I now find myself entrenched with all of you. Yesterday's bombing at the Boston Marathon was an attack on that very community, and I think we are all feeling the ripples more than anyone else in the world. Sure, this was an attack against my country, a city I have visited, and innocent bystanders, but it was an assault on an event that bases itself around the communal aspect of running we cherish.
People from all around the world come to Boston to do the same thing. Sure, it is Patriot Day, but many who arrive on our shores aren't here to celebrate our history; rather, they come to compete in one of runnings toughest events. We come together in one place to do one thing: run. Running is like a universal language where we speak with our legs and our times. We have shared experiences in races and training. We can look at someone at a race and know that they have done and are thinking the same things. At the beginning, we all get and chip and a bib. At the end, we all get a finisher medal. What other sport is like that? What other event can a 78 year old compete again an 18 year old? Where else can a man from Africa compete against a woman from China? I would argue, as a single event, a marathon, especially one as large and iconic as Boston, is the most important in the world.
What I am getting at is this: this attack has shaken us in a way we may truly never understand, but we can already see how powerful a community we are a part of. Just look at the immediacy of the #runforboston campaign; who else could organize something like that? Who else would simultaneously wear race shirts in memory of an event? I saw an article about our communities power in USA Today, and I couldn't be more proud! We are all feeling like our families were attacked because of how close we all feel. We can all sense what it would be like to be one of those in the videos coming to the finish line, joyous, exhausted and proud, only to immediately have reality crash down around us. We can all feel for those who have lost or will lose limbs and possibly never run again. I know I am changed, but I will not let this damper my love for running and for my community, country and fellow man/woman.
I wish I could put more of my feelings into writing, but I am just not that talented. I just hope this post is a catalyst for some thinking, and maybe it will put a bit of a positive spin on an otherwise tragic day after so much evil. Spend today counting your blessings, and take a second to look around and be happy you are here, healthy and able to do something so many others cannot.
As for me, my issues are so incomprehensibly insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but in case you were wondering, I thought I would still include a bit of an update. After a bone scan towards the end of last week, I was told immediately that I have a stress fracture in my left ankle. I was told that I am not able to run for 6-8 weeks, and that I need to stay off my feet as much as possible. I don't have a cast or anything, but I still need to see an orthopedist for more information. I will probably make an appointment right after this post, but right now my ankle feels pretty good. I am just icing it, keeping it elevated, and I use crutches when I can. My job keeps me on my feet a lot, so I probably won't heal as quick as I could, but it isn't so bad.
I am just glad I decided to get the scan because I would probably have started running again if I hadn't, and I would have just made things worse. I have some mild pain killers and anti-inflammatories, but beyond that, I just need extra calcium. The big thing, and easily the most heartbreaking personally, is that I will not be able to run in the Flying Pig like I had been dreaming about and working so hard to achieve. Last week, and before Boston, I was really in bad shape emotionally, but now I am just happy to be able to get back out there eventually. Will I try for another marathon? I don't know. It was an awful lot of hard work to come up short, and maybe I am just not built to do it. Maybe I will focus on shorter races and speed? Maybe work towards sprint triathlons? Who knows, but I have plenty of time to think about it.
For now, I am just doing some weights and light stuff at home. My diet is destroyed by plenty of stress eating, and I am a bit lost without a goal or a way to get in cardio. I may be able to swim at the YMCA if my membership is still good, but it just isn't the same - I want to be out enjoying the weather I waited so patiently for. In the end, I am lucky, but this is still a bit of a personal tragedy, and I just have to figure out how to move on. We all deal with issues, but I would be tapering this week, gearing up to truly prove myself as a runner. I would finally be able to call myself a marathoner, and now I can't even run for Boston. It is hard, but I am not alone. I will cope, I will heal, and I will be back.
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