Friday, February 7, 2014

Mile Repeats--Memory Repeats

Workout this morning—mile repeats on the treadmill.  Warm-up with an 8 minute mile.  Run 5x1 mile at 6:40 with ¼ mile at 10:00/mile between each.  Cool down with an 8 minute mile.  That puts me at 205.5 for the year.  Hopefully I’ll be able to feel safe (from slipping) for a run outside tomorrow morning.  The distance puts me just west of West Newton, PA on PA 136.  I continue along.

Mile repeats makes me think of other things that repeat in my life.  Yesterday, for example, I was reminded of the Boston Marathon last year.  Just a simple thing.  Looking at something that reminded me of my first post after the race to everyone who had heard about the bombing.  Telling them I was safe.  And telling them not to worry.   Repeating a memory.  A bit different obviously from mile repeats but worth thinking about what is not (and what is) similar. 

What stands out as I repeat the memory?  As I look back, I realize that I had no concept of just how worried people were.  My wife was worried.  My Godmother was worried.  My cousins were worried about their brother.  My colleagues were worried.  My fellow runners back in Baltimore were worried.  At first, no one had any idea of what had gone on.  How many were injured?  How many were killed?  Would there be more violence?  When would it end?

All I knew was that I was safe and away from what appeared to be the danger—although no one actually knew.  And I was with two friends with whom I had shared the drive up, had spent two nights in a hotel, had traveled to the staging area with, and was ready to travel home with.  And I had a chance to take a shower and gather my thoughts.  And I had seen the sites on the television in the hotel lobby.  And I had seen the many emergency vehicles rushing toward the scene of the explosion.  And I felt better.  And I was warm.  And I was ready for the drive back to Baltimore.  And I had run close to my fastest marathon.  And I was ready for whatever came next.

I have thought on multiple occasions that I was “finally past” the events of that day.  I have also thought on multiple occasions that I will never be fully past the events of that day.

On this day of repeats, I find myself repeating some of the feelings and emotions of that day in April last year.  And I find myself realizing that the feelings can come and go.  And will continue to come and go.  And that I will never fully shake it.  And that those around me will probably never fully shake it either.

Some day people will ask, “Where were you when you found out about the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013.”  And I will say, “On the Boston T headed toward Government Center.”  And when I do I will revisit the feelings and revisit the emotions and revisit the anger and revisit the fear and revisit everything that I felt that day. 

Mile repeats are generally a positive thing while revisiting the post-Boston marathon memories is not.  Mile repeats are something I control while the post-Boston marathon events were not and the memories are not.  What I do have control over –each time I find myself brought to the memories—is how I handle them.  I control just how much I dwell on them.  I control just how much I focus on them.  I control just how much I let it affect me. 

And dealing with what I can control while leaving behind what I can’t is a lesson both for my mile repeats and my memories of Boston and it is what keeps me sane.

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