The Human Spirit

I haven’t wrote much about running lately. It’s because I was sick all of last week with laryngitis and took a week off to rest. I started running again on Monday, the minute I felt that scratchy feeling leave my throat and lungs.

I’ve stayed indoors to run the past three days. I ran 3 miles on the treadmill at the gym on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday- all with consistent times. Happy to say I haven’t lost the spring in my step, even after finishing a marathon a few weeks ago and then being hit with severe sickness.

I felt a sense of euphoria again; like all was right in the world (or my world at least)

I wasn’t ready to take it out on the pavement yet because I always get too excited when I run in Central Park once I see the herds of runners surrounding me. I didn’t want to overdue it. I stayed inside to ease back into the game.

I’ve noticed that as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more of a lone-runner. People always ask me to run with them and I tell them, “Yea, definitely!”, but it never happens because I always seem to keep to myself. I’ve said this many times before, but I value my running time as my alone time. My time to sort through my thoughts, relieve any stress, and be with myself.

However, I’ve learned that it’s somewhat unhealthy to be that way. Sometimes, you really need people.

This morning, we finally received the long-awaited July 2013 issue of Runner’s World.

The instant I saw the cover, my heart sank. This was the issue that was dedicated to the Boston Marathon bombings that took place on April 15th. The day that turned the running community and the entire world upside down.

It feels like so long ago, but when I flip through the pages, every word recalls the feelings I felt like it was just yesterday.

As I was reading the Editor’s letter from our Editor-In-Chief, David Willey, I found one quote from Michigan Race Director, Don Kern, that resonated throughout my mind and heart:

“If you’re trying to defeat the human spirit, marathon runners are the wrong group to target”

This holds true to me in every way possible, especially now that I can proudly call myself a marathoner.

Most people don’t understand why runners run.

It’s much more than just a work-out, or keeping yourself healthy and fit. Those are actually just bonuses. It’s much more than that.

It’s a mentality. A state of mind. An outlet.

Most importantly, it’s about community.

The human spirit is an amazing thing. It’s resilient. We can be beaten and torn, but not broken. Runners, amongst all other, have proven that after the Boston Marathon bombings. To be able to rise above all the tragedy that has happened and come together stronger than ever is the miracle of the human spirit.

Runners are determined, motivated, persistent and nothing can stand in the way of that. Not a bomb, nor anything else.

I’ve learned that a sense of community is really one of the biggest reasons for why I love running. As I stated earlier in this entry, once I get into Central Park to run, I always get too excited. I immediately feel inspired and uplifted, regardless of however I was feeling that day. It’s because I know they just get me. They get why I do this.

In running and in life, we need the feeling that there are people who are going through exactly what we are going through. We need that comfort. The Boston Marathon bombings was a wake up call to the world.

The human spirit cannot be broken.

“Even when our heart aches, we summon the strength that maybe we didn’t even know we had, and we carry on; we finish the race…On that toughest mile, just when we think that we’ve hit a wall, someone will be there to cheer us on and pick us up if we fall.” – President Barack Obama

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