The thing that frustrates me to no end on this recent bombing in Boston is that it takes a moment of clarity that people have running and suffocates it in the same saturation of media and life that we run to get away from. Running is therapeutic. I never thought I would say that, but running clears the mind of garbage and the mindless things we focus on and takes us to some primitive place where all we focus on is the breaths we take and the road ahead of us. More than endurance it is a healthful cleansing for me from my own self. At mile two we may be still stuck in our own minds but by mile 5 we are free of our own barriers that we’ve set up in our minds. We hit that euphoric runner’s high and feel a peace even as our feet pound the pavement.
Now it is bogged into that same news cycle which closes in around us. It’s amazing how big the world is but how small it feels under the microscope of media we have created and that infiltrates our daily lives. Events all over the world hit us real-time as if we are there and a part of it when we are neither. We are all inter-connected, when we are truly not. Their pain is our pain, but is it really? Should we care what happens somewhere else, of course, but when it consumes our own daily lives do we not lose perspective on life in general?
Being on a road running is the only place that can free many people from the constant media and technology that forcibly pulls us all together. We can’t get away when we flip channels, or surf our phones or the web, it is all around us. Doesn’t matter what page or channel you find yourself on, it is there waiting for you. On the road you’ve been freed from that direction. It is important to empathize and being knowledgeable but we can’t control the events that we are getting fed to us daily. It is life the good, the horrible, the tragic and a lot of it is reprehensibly ugly. We can’t look away because it is all of us and can be all of us. We could have been there or we know someone that was. We are the event as much as the person next to us, or at least we are told we are.
I just want the break. CNN, Headline news, Yahoo, Google, Drudge, TMZ, stop!! Whatever media mouthpiece is plucking into our eyes, ears, psyches, we need the ability to step back, step off, and run away. Now they’ve taken some of that escape away. They’ve polluted the water even more to the point where even running will have to be done with some cautions we hadn’t planned a week ago. That drift less freedom just got taken away from me. I know that is a selfish thought but I don’t care. It’s mine. I refuse to apologize for it. I hope when I hit mile 5 or mile 10 that I still have that moment where my mind is released from itself, if only a moment and I’ll take it. I appreciate that I have those moments at all.