Headlines are my job - writing them, re-writing them, making them. Dozens pass through my screen daily, and I can only imagine I've written thousands over my career. And so it is a rare occasion that one gives me pause. Stops me from reading the others. Causes tears to well in my eyes.
But yesterday, after I returned to work from a coffee meeting, I signed on to my computer and checked the Runner's World site to see whether there were interviews with Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher. Instead, I saw the horrific news about the explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Words cannot express the feelings that washed over me and those that do come to mind are not ones that others have not uttered. To put them here, on this blog, seems so self-serving. Redundant. To write them makes me feel small in such a large event to which I have no real, tangible connection.
As humans, though, we crave that connection - to people, events, things. I've struggled to understand it as the chaos of news events affects me in a much different way. More work, longer meetings later hours. The immediacy necessary to act on the news forces any feelings aside. I've surmised that maybe it makes one feel less helpless in situations where things cannot be undone.
I suspect it's why runners banded together to wear and run in race shirts today. It's an idea that I'm still not so sure about - how it got started and why it went viral - because it seems almost random. But just as the story of the Boston Marathon has affected me in a way few others have, this show of solidarity began to resonate with me.
And so on this dreary, rainy day - a day where motivation was lacking - I slid on my shirt from the Columbus Marathon and ran till my heart beat out of my chest.
Inspire, the shirt says.
We may be small. We may be helpless. But we can inspire.