Yesterday was like a dagger to my heart. As an American. As a runner. As a former resident of the Boston area.

Like many I am left with so many conflicting emotions. To sort through them even a day later is still a difficulty and it may continue to be one for a long time. I empathize with the runners who worked so hard to qualify and then were cheated… not only out of a race they deserved to run but out of an environment where they feel safe. How horrid for the spectators who were cheering on their loved ones or even complete strangers. So many victims.

My heart aches for my dear friends in Boston who are left to deal with the outcome of the events and their emotions. They will have to continue to walk the streets with uncertainty and fear. I wish I could ease their pain and sadness. But Boston as I know it will come together.

But mostly, I feel so confused. What was the point? I imagine the perpetrator watching the news with a distorted sense of smug satisfaction that this faceless figure accomplished… what exactly? Extinguished innocent lives. Devastated a nation. Caused thousands to fear for their safety. I’m so tired of selfish misguided individuals preying upon the vulnerability of others. I’m angry that this is the world we live in… That I have to raise my son in a generation where I have to find the words to merely attempt to explain why someone armed IEDs at a marathon, heartlessly massacred an elementary school, or viciously attacked a movie theater. I want so much to shield him from this, but perhaps I am luckier than most. My son is too young for this tragedy to leave a lasting scar on his innocence.

Yesterday was supposed to be a day of celebration and triumph. Now Patriot’s Day in Boston will never be the same.

But…

We will fight. We will support. We will overcome.

And so tonight I will carry on with my marathon training. No one can take away my desire and love for running. I will run. I will endure. I WILL NOT BE AFRAID.

Editor’s note: Embarrassingly I forgot to mention something. I feel GRATITUDE. This is for all those who came to the aid of the wounded whether they were bystanders, police, medical workers, marathon volunteers. I am grateful that I can look upon communities forging bonds of resiliency and for being given the opportunity to share these words.

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