The week following 9/11 I heard the reactions of many parents. I was working as an administrative assistant at our local ballet studio. They all had ways of coping with the terrible events and many of their reactions, fears and concerns were pressed directly onto me, a parent of a pre-professional ballet dancer who had moved to NYC on 9/3 – a week prior.
As I share on my post, Thank You Max, it wasn’t an easy time. As I read back over it now, one thing still resonates, I wanted things to return to normal.
Today, the day after terrible bombings have ripped apart the lauded Boston Marathon, I am feeling similarly and know that my resolve was fostered in that first week after 9/11. As I told parents who warned me that I should not chance a trip to visit Arron in NYC so soon after the 9/11 attacks, I refuse to live in terror.
Just like driving through the Lincoln Tunnel with machine gun armed officials and security delays; the running of large races is going to take on a very different tone for a while but I refuse to stop racing. I still intend to sign up for the ING NYC Marathon lottery later this month.
A dear young soul was lost at the finish line of the Boston Marathon yesterday. An 8 year-old boy was killed in the bombings. He was probably there to experience the thrill of seeing a loved one accomplish an achievement of a lifetime. It made me think of Arron when he was 8 and how he was always so excited to cheer me and Jim on in anything we were undertaking at that time. If Arron and Jim want to stand at the finish line when I run the ING NYC Marathon (this year or next), I won’t pretend that yesterday’s bombings of the Boston Marathon won’t come to mind. I know my family will want to do what brings them joy and inspiration too. I refuse to stop them from being inspired by the many great runners and one trit-trotting family member who intends to cross that finish line.
I am sad for so many reasons today. I hate dragging out my 9/11 memories. Running is a wonderful therapeutic thing to me and it is going to take a long time for me not to think about the terrible bombings as I pull on my running shoes. What would be worse would be for me to stop running, or going to races to cheer Jim on or running in races myself.
Social media is much more massive than it was on 9/11/01. People change their FaceBook or Twitter profile photos to back any and all causes. Someone suggested as a show of support for those impacted by the Boston bombings to change all profile photos to running shoes but I think I will leave mine the same as it has been for a while now. It is the moment I am crossing the finish line of my first full marathon, a moment of joy for accomplishing something I worked so hard for. I refuse to let that moment to be taken away and as support for all those who have been damaged yesterday, I refuse to live in terror.