The bombs went off right around the time I would have been crossing the finish line if I had been in yesterday’s Boston Marathon. My daughter reminded me of that as our family discussed the terrorist attack in the kitchen last night.
My love affair with long-distance running goes back to the 1970s. It has been an on-and-off affair for sure, with periods of devotion to running resulting in two marathons and other periods when my running shoes sat forlornly at the back of the closet.
During all those years, my worst fear when running was that an overly aggressive dog would come charging out of his yard and decide I would make a tasty treat. I always loved the atmosphere of big races – a largely solitary sport brought to life with the sights and sounds of crowds engaged in a common cause. My concerns were rain, cold and staying on pace. It never crossed my mind that someone would plant bombs along my route.
Well, now the thought is there. And not just there. My son was at the Masters tournament this past Saturday, enjoying the thrill of watching some of the best golfers in the world. Could it happen there? Or at a baseball game, a soccer tournament, or a thousand other public events that make up the fabric of our lives? I hope not.
Today, I am going to concentrate on a single step. I’m going to go home tonight, strap on my running shoes and head out for a jog. If another runner crosses my path, I’ll wave and smile. And inside I’ll salute all the runners and families hurt by this tragedy, and wish them all the best as their journey continues.