To a Runner, running shoes are sacred. Runners will typically honor their shoes in one of two ways.
1) They wear them EVERYWHERE. Never knowing when the urge or opportunity to run will happen.
2) They ONLY wear them to run in. They do not waste valuable, precious available mileage by wearing them to the supermarket, or Lowe's, or Walmart or anywhere that running is not involved.
I'm a #2. I very, very rarely wear my kicks anywhere but running. Maybe during the break-in process, but not likely other time.
I'm presenting at a conference today and tomorrow. This typically involves me being dressed wisely for the occasion - slacks, sweater, dress shoes.
But today is different. Today, I felt compelled to wear something different.
I wear these in memory of Martin Richard, Krystle Campbell, and the graduate student from China whose name hasn't been released yet.
I wear these to honor those that were physically injured, those that are emotionally and psychologically scarred.
I wear these to lift up those that will never be able to run again.
I wear these in defiance.
I am a runner. I know pain, but it does not deter me.
I am a runner. I have overcome my fears, and they will not slow me.
I am a runner. I refuse to be terrorized, and you will not stop me.
I read this poem by Mark Remy of Runner's World, published 15 days ago. And if you are a runner, you get it.
I was angry, so I went for a run. And things got better.
I was confused, so I went for a run. And things got better.
I was exhausted, so I went for a run. And things got better.
I was lost, unsure, empty, afraid. Certain that whatever was left of my sanity had snapped, had come untethered and floated away, to a place so high and remote that I would never see it again, and that even if I did, I wouldn't recognize it.
So I went for a run. And things got better.
I felt like things could not possibly get worse, so I went for a run. And things got better.
(Another time, I felt like things could not get much better. I went for a run. Things got much better.)
After enough miles, over enough runs and enough years, I realized: No matter what, no matter when, or where, or why, I can find my shoes and go for a run and things will get better.
And that realization? Just knowing that?
It made things better.
So put on some running shoes. Be it 0.2 miles or 26.2 miles. Just. Run.
It will get better.
Boston Marathon. I honor you.