Long before I ever thought about running even 1 mile and certainly not 26.1, I fell in love with marathons. One of my best friends had set out to train for her first marathon after we graduated from college, and a small group of us surprised her by flying to FL from all over the East Coast where we had scattered to support her in her race. I learned something that day we watched and cheered not just for Taryn but for hundreds of strangers who were doing this amazing thing with their bodies. You can't destroy hope. You can't blow up perseverance. Even if you stop someone's race, you can't take away their spirit, especially the spirit that drove them to try this insane thing, running 26.2 miles, in the first place.
And marathon supporters? They are pretty amazing people, too. They wake up early, freeze their tails off, carry sweaty shoes, sweaty clothes, and sweaty friends, and they usually do it with a joyful smile. They endure being yelled at when a run goes horribly and grumpiness when feet and knees and backs hurt. They massage out cramps in the middle of the night. They look at a lot of ugly blisters against their own will. They keep shouting and whistling and holding up signs proclaiming, "You look great! You can do it!" even when you don't look great, and it feels like you can't do it. Marathon supporters embody love and selfless presence and encouragement.
In the face of what happened in Boston yesterday, which was horrible and terrifying for what it was, but also for what it reminds us, that people live in this kind of terror and danger day in and day out in many parts of the world - I pray that these good things - hope, perseverance, spirit, love, selfless presence, and encouragement - I pray that these good things will endure and rise to the top of our consciousness and actions.