I just saw a segment on The View with a victim of the Boston Marathon bombings. Erika Brannock is a school teacher who was running toward a dream and lost her leg to the explosion near the finish line. I stood in our break room and cried.
It rekindled a horrible memory and reminded me of the most pressing question I’ve had since this tragedy — how could anyone be so angry or disturbed to do something like this to innocent runners and the people there to support them?
Since I started running almost two years ago, one of my biggest surprises has been learning how many people renounce you because of it. All I wanted was to feel better, be happier, and enjoy life. For this, I’m often chastised. “Friends” that don’t want you to find happiness. It’s a sad blemish on humanity.
It’s not everyone, though. More than not support my lifestyle. Many have been inspired and tell me they’ve started exercising again because of my adventures. In turn, their efforts push me and we’re all better off with each other.
How bad does your life have to be that you will take to violence with someone that is running? A runner. Winding down a road or a trail searching for peace in an confusing and overwhelming world.
Is there anything worse than someone ripping peace and contentment from your grasp?
This summer, I was on a 10 mile run through East Nashville. As I turned down a quiet side street I stayed on the left near a curb. About halfway down the block, I noticed a truck turn the corner and the driver literally floored it right at me until turning away and flipping me off at the last minute. Oddly, I wasn’t scared, but I was boiling mad. I stopped, turned around and begged him to come back so I could drop him on the pavement.
In a split second, he sucked me into his ugly world. I was literally shaking in anger and it took 5 minutes to start running again. But two minutes from then, I was almost fine.
Life is about movement and being free. That is exactly what running means to me, but some people are so miserable they want to take that away.
At the end of that segment on the View, they put about 8 of Erika’s students on the screen to do a live talk-back. These little kids were so innocent and happy. Full of life and love. Everyone (including me) fought back tears as they professed admiration and support for their beloved teacher.
It was a moving reminder of what’s really important in life and one that I wish everyone could could remember. We’re all in this together. It’s not about money or fame or power, it’s about having people in your life who love and support you, share your freedoms and give you courage to run toward a dream.
. . . Runner’s hearts are in the right place.