When I first started running, it was merely a means to lose weight. However, it quickly became my escape. As my endurance grew, I marveled at how my legs could carry me so far without giving out. I was able to see and appreciate so much more of nature than from the view of a car. Running was what I turned to when I felt depression or anxiety beginning to drag me down. Pounding the pavement opened my eyes to everything I was blessed with, made me remember all the positive things in life that I seemed to so quickly forget when wrapped up in the chaos of everyday life. It was the only time I could be alone, yet feel surrounded by everything I loved. So when I heard about the tragedy at Boston yesterday, my first thought turned to the runners. Were they OK? Were they able to finish that which they trained so hard for? Then news broke that most of the injured were the spectators, and my heart sank to my stomach. I instantly said a prayer in my heart. Dear Lord, please let the loved ones be OK. Whenever I run a race, my husband and my children are what push me through. The thought of being able to see their faces makes me push myself a little harder, run a little faster. The thought that they could have been hurt...or worse...because they were supporting someone they love...me...well, that almost pushed me over the edge. I lay in bed last night, tossing and turning, my thoughts on my own marathon that is coming up in just 8 weeks. I struggled with the idea of allowing my family to come support me. Surely they would be safer sitting at home, watching movies. I was so angry at whoever was responsible for this...the deaths, the injuries, the FEAR. So angry, and so scared for my children. But then I realized that I couldn't let this fear control me. I could not let them have that much power over me. When you ask my daughter what she wants to be when she grows up, she will say, “A doctor, a cake boss, and a runner like Mama.” That's right. She doesn't just want to run. She wants to BE a runner. Whenever she comes to one of my races, she is truly my biggest and loudest cheerleader. She gets so excited when I cross that finish line. Seeing her face light up, and hearing her shout, “Go Mama GO!!” makes my smile feel like it's going on for miles. No matter how tired or exhausted I am, her voice gives my feet wings to carry me through to the finish. So yes, my husband and kids will be at my marathon cheering me on. Running will continue to be my release and something I will enjoy with my daughter when she is old enough. Because right now, at this stage of her life, I am her hero, and she is mine. And no terrorist will ever take that away from us.
Me and my biggest cheerleaders, Miss M and Mr. K, after the Utah Valley Marathon, 2011