the beautiful gift...

It’s been 4 days since the tragic bombing on the Boston Marathon.I have not ran since. Too much despair, sadness, anger, violation, confusion. So I went to yoga..bikram yoga… 26 + 2 postures in 100 degrees…the next best thing to a run with sweat and heat and focus. Have taken the class a hundred times and never heard the 26 + 2 posture reference as poignantly as I heard it today. I cried between poses.  My teacher told us to stop over analyzing, stop letting the mind get in the way…let go…be IN the process so you can grow from it.  Really, is she talking to me? Does she know that my husband just ran the Boston Marathon? Nope. She is doing what she does…instructing, teaching, empowering. Sitting outside with a fellow yogi she opened up the space to move some stuff around… and this is what came out.  I have cried at every marathon I have been to…both as the spectator and the runner….I believe in the marathoner…I honor the spirit and commitment and sacrifice it takes to cross the finish line.  It is beautiful to see.  Ordinary people doing something extraordinary. Hope. Will. Focus.  Marathons open you up. You run exposed to possible failure. You feel raw with pain and struggle and burnt air in your lungs. And then you pass through it. Surrender to the effort. Let go and savor the struggle.  You feel victory.  Running changes lives…and all for the better. Until Boston.

It’s been 4 days since the tragic bombing on the Boston Marathon.I have not ran since. Too much despair, sadness, anger, violation, confusion.

So I went to yoga..bikram yoga… 26 + 2 postures in 100 degrees…the next best thing to a run with sweat and heat and focus. Have taken the class a hundred times and never heard the 26 + 2 posture reference as poignantly as I heard it today. I cried between poses.  My teacher told us to stop over analyzing, stop letting the mind get in the way…let go…be IN the process so you can grow from it.  Really, is she talking to me? Does she know that my husband just ran the Boston Marathon? Nope. She is doing what she does…instructing, teaching, empowering.

Sitting outside with a fellow yogi she opened up the space to move some stuff around… and this is what came out.  I have cried at every marathon I have been to…both as the spectator and the runner….I believe in the marathoner…I honor the spirit and commitment and sacrifice it takes to cross the finish line.  It is beautiful to see.  Ordinary people doing something extraordinary. Hope. Will. Focus.  Marathons open you up. You run exposed to possible failure. You feel raw with pain and struggle and burnt air in your lungs. And then you pass through it. Surrender to the effort. Let go and savor the struggle.  You feel victory.  Running changes lives…and all for the better. Until Boston.

Why did somebody take away something so pure? Something so good?  Something so beautiful.  A light radiates within the cracks of your run and a belief begins to emerge of possibility ?  Zak and I teach ChiRunning….at every workshop we explain that this gift was a blessing to us, that our lives are better because of it.  Would anyone still want this gift, that is now tarnished?  I felt so stuck. So violated by a moment that has no explanation.  And then I thought about why I cry at races.  How the medal is there to be placed on your neck…but that the road getting there started waaaaay before the starting line.  The roads we run free on. The roads we run in the dark. Miles we conquer between life. Our lives as professionals, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers.  That is the honor of the runner…out there in their life. Waking up. Lacing up. Putting one foot in front of the other to move forward.  So the moment of destruction is just that…a moment…and if running has taught me anything it is to BE in the moment. Loving and sometimes hating the runs.  Listening to my body. Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable in my tempos. New pr’s. Longer distances. Saying the I CAN right now, over and over in my mind on a run… till I can, and I do.  It STILL IS beautiful.  The runner still exemplifies the extraordinary. The runner will always be that for me.  And a tragic moment will not take that away. It is our duty as a community to keep moving forward with the love for the run. Coz that is all I have, and I am a better person because of it. Tomorrow I will run.  But getting out my mind and feeling the process will open the way for growth. Sometimes moments are ugly and cruel…but if anything the runner also knows that in pain we grow. We build ourselves up when we break down and tear muscles. We get stronger. We defy the odds with courageous spirit. We become more human. A body filled with love, fear, hope, spirit, failure and goals.

And my husband is safe and home.  We have brushed passed each other with silent whispers of ‘what if’.  We are celebrating this Saturday with friends and fellow Boston runners. Their accomplishment and victory of pursing a goal and reaching it with stellar performance. He is a champion, alongside all the other Boston Marathoners. And although his race will always be linked to a tragedy…it will also be edged with beauty. The magnificence of pushing your body and mind to live – and breathe – and believe in the impossible.

I love you runner. You epitomize everything beautiful in a world that is often crazy.