Tuesday, April 16, 2013

32.

My heart aches. 

Over the past few days, I have been wrapped up in my own thoughts over today and everything it signifies.  A day that I (and the rest of Hokie Nation) lost 32 of our own. A day that pains my heart. A day that changed my life forever.I don't think I can really put my thoughts into words so I will use this excerpt from a writing of mine after that horrible day I will forever know as April 16, 2007:

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I spent the majority of April 15 thinking about that terrible day six years ago and filled with anxiety by not only the memories that would flood my mind today but also a new life development that seems so inconsequential right now (more on that on another day).  I haven't discussed it much beyond my own family but I am lucky to be spared from death by the will of God that I slept in on April 16, 2007. I am lucky that I did not go to class in Norris 204 early and sit outside the classroom to review that day's assignment (my usual practice).  I am lucky that I was only on the Drillfield that day instead of being in the middle of deranged, weak individual's mad plan.

Today, I was in the local mall with my mom when I saw on my phone a Washington Post Breaking News Alert email that there had been 2 explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.  Anyone who knows me or has followed this blog for the past four years knows that running has become a very major part of my life and this terrible attack shook me to the core.  I posted on twitter earlier and will reiterate here- I have been a blubbering mess the past few days over 4/16 and now the blasts on the Boston Marathon, I don't understand this senseless violence and killing of innocent people. Thousands of people trained for years to attempt to BQ and actually be chosen for this race and all they did today was wake up early and try to run the best race of their lives after training for months (even years for some). These innocent people were bettering their own lives through running and staying fit/healthy but some terrorist/group changed their lives forever, something I know very well.

WHY would this happen to so many innocent people? The same can be said for Hokie Nation in 2007. We all (like the thousands of runners, volunteers, spectators, and people of Boston) have had our lives change forever, but really, WHY?

I constantly question WHY to God.  Why did a deranged student choose to kill 32 of our classmates and shake the world of 28,000 students? Why were 32 young people taken from this world so soon who had so much to offer the world? Why did some terrorist/group detonate bombs during one of the premiere running events in the world? Why did the undetected blasts not go off? Why are innocent people taken from this earth by the hands of deranged, extremist individuals? I could go on forever with the questions I've had running in my mind all day but nothing seems to give me any form of an answer. 

Instead of dwelling on all these WHY's, I find solace in that I can do something for our fallen Hokies. I choose to live life. I choose to live for 32. Every single day. I choose not to be a victim but to celebrate life and do good.  For all of my friends and fellow Hokies who don't get the chance to live their dream, I choose to continue living my dream no matter how many obstacles or roadblocks I face. 

All I can do for our 32 lost Hokies is live my life and do good. All I can do for Boston is run.  Today, I will run my 3.2 miles not only for my Hokies but also the people and runners of Boston who's lives are forever changed from Monday's events.  

Finally, I share Professor Giovanni's poem for Hokie Nation today and for all of Boston and it's runners:

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What can you do? Please take the time to say a little prayer (to whatever higher being you believe) for our 32 fallen Hokies and all those lost&injured in Boston.  If you want to do more, wear a Hokie shirt or a past race shirt to show your support of these two communities. Run/walk 3.2 miles for 32 and/or 4.09 miles for Boston (the time on the marathon clock of the blasts).


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