I know I’ve been silent since Monday. I haven’t even tried to sit down to write. I can’t muster up the energy to talk about my training or to do a product review or to tell some funny story. And, I can’t muster up the energy to write more about what happened on Monday. I said what I wanted to say then.
I love that we all wore our running shirts this week as a tribute.
Yes, life goes on. I take the kids to school. I run. I work. I cook dinner and have a glass of wine at night. But, I’ve done it all with a pit in my stomach. It seems cliché, but the phrase, “What is this world coming to?” resonates in my head and my heart. It all feels so out of control right now. I don’t want to live in fear, and yet every time I drop my kids at school, every time I get on an plane, and now every time I approach a finish line I’ll wonder if something bad could happen. There is the continued sense that nothing will ever be the same again.
The question becomes, how do we live knowing these things, yet not let them consume us?
1. Do good and be good. I don’t know how long I’ll be here. I don’t know what amazing, sad, exciting, challenging things are in store for me. It doesn’t matter, because much of that is beyond my control. What I can control is how I approach people and life. All the “bad” stuff that happens out there just makes me want to be better. A better friend, a better mother, a better wife, a better community member, a better PERSON.
2. Be here. Look around you right now. What do you see and hear? I hear my daughter laughing. The sun is shining and I have a steaming cup of coffee beside me. I get to go shopping for running clothes with a friend today. I am healthy and lucid enough to sit here and write a blog post for you and to take a run outside later in the crisp morning air. I have this moment. Right now. I will cherish it.
3. Run. Sweat. Move. One of the things that has made this week more difficult is that I have taken several rest days to give my hamstring a break. This has meant I don’t get my usual “sweat outlet.” I don’t have to tell you how running (or whatever does it for you) transports you out of your head and into a place where you can gain perspective. A place where your worries can fall way for a bit.
4. Smile. Even laugh. When “bad” things happen, we often feel that it’s disrespectful to perk up and have moments of joy. That’s crap. Being joyous in no way undermines our grief about a situation. In fact, it helps us to cope, to have a moment of lightness in what otherwise feels very heavy and dark. The last thing you need to do is judge yourself for having a moment that is free from sadness and angst.
5. Help. When you feel help-less, the remedy is to be help-full. Reach out and do something that helps others. Step outside of yourself and your emotions and channel your energy into a cause that makes sense to you. (Skinny Runner posted a comprehensive list of tribute runs and fundraisers for Boston. You can find it HERE).
It’s been a long and sad week for all of us. What happened in Boston has hit runners – has hit EVERYONE - like a ton of bricks. We feel shocked, cheated, scared, angry and sad. At this point, there is nothing to do but lace up our shoes, step outside and literally move forward. Right, left, right, left.
How do you cope with “bad” things happen? Can you add to my list?