It was a normal Patriot's Day morning at the store. Get the Boston Marathon coverage on the TV, check the social network for all the chatter of local runners in Boston, and set the Athlete Tracker to "Alabama" to follow our friends' progress. I watched a little of the elite races, took a break, came back to the computer, and then the normal Boston Marathon morning changed. The first post on Facebook popped up about explosions at the Boston Marathon finish line. My first reaction was that it was a hoax, but it didn't take long to find out it was real! My second reaction, I've got a friend who is working at the race and is probably near the finish line, I need to make a phone call! In between unanswered phone calls to my friend, the store phone started to ring off the hook with concerns from the running community and the local media. After a couple of interviews with local TV and constant attention to social media to check on our local runners, a phone call went through, and Jaime answered. "I'm OK" he said. Then he described being across the street behind the VIP bleachers when the first explosion happened and the "carnage" he saw trying to leave the scene. He was OK, and as best I could tell from phone calls, emails and Facebook, everyone I know was OK as well. I went home, hugged the kids and Lena, and watched the news coverage of the bombings. That was my April 15, 2013.
I mentioned all of that because in life's experiences there is supposed to be something learned or gained. Right? I really felt that on the run this morning. It seemed every wave or pleasantry exchanged to a fellow runner on the road meant a lot more! I thought of that list of names of runners from Birmingham racing in the Boston Marathon and how I knew them from seeing them on the road, hanging out with them at the store or recommending their next shoe. Then, to go even deeper, I thought of the time when I really wasn't running and how those same people were always concerned, asking how I was, and wondering when I would hit the road again, because. I'm a runner!
What I have learned from April 15, 2013 is, if you have every excuse not to run or need motivation to hit the road, there are few communities stronger than the running community! If nothing more than to be a part of something that transcends all boundaries and strongly connects millions, start running!
I'll see you all on the road in the morning or at the next finish line!