So Boston happened.
I spent the afternoon and evening on a self-imposed Twitter ban after I got overwhelmed by all the Boston marathon Tweets. (P.S. I’m so distracted by the Boston Marathon logo right now because somehow I never realized it’s A FREAKING UNICORN?!?!)
What was there to do? Plenty of things, I suppose, but I just kind of stayed glued shut. Toby and I walked downtown for dinner, walked back home, I sat around feeling listless and impotent…..
I felt a hopeful spark when I saw the Facebook posts going around asking people to wear race shirts today. “THAT is something I can do.” I said. ACTION.
As I was rummaging through my closet for my old Portland Marathon shirts, cynicism crept in. “Aren’t I just making it all about ME rather than all about them?” I wondered? “Am I showing off because I’m wearing a marathon shirt instead of a 5K shirt?” I’m not much of a pink-for-breast-cancer person, which then led me to wonder, “What’s an effing shirt going to do anyway?”
I’m pretty bad with negative self talk. I put down the shirt and wandered back out to the living room, where I complained to Toby about my back hurting. He pointed to my yoga mat. While I was lying down there, I made a plan.
I would start running again. Yeah yeah, I’d said it trillions of times before, but this time, it would be an insult to the people of Boston if I didn’t follow through. (I’m also pretty adept with guilt. It goes well with my negative self talk)
But it was more than that too. There’s power in solidarity. Seeing friends post their runs dedicated to Boston Marathoners has been moving. And people couldn’t do much to prevent Boston, and I can’t really do much to “fix” it, so isn’t a big part of all this reaction just fear? And isn’t the only way to deal with fear to address it head on?
Fine. I’ll get up and run.
For people who don’t feel safe running in their neighborhoods.
For women who don’t feel comfortable running alone.
For people inured and feeling betrayed by their body.
For those paralyzed by depression and self loathing — for ME.
I wasn’t actually sure I’d do it. I’m always full of big plans at 10:00 at night.
But I did!
Oh! And there was one other thing I could do. When I was a newspaper reporter, I did a story on the nonprofit Girls on the Run.
They’re great. So I donated to them. My contribution was enough to buy water bottles for a whole team of girls. If you live in the Puget Sound, you might want to consider joining me at their spring 5K.