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Love, Compassion and Kindness

Yesterday was a tough day. It started with writing what felt like an endless stream of checks as I took care of some life expenses along with tax day. This brought on a minor freak out about getting serious about financial planning and being more responsible about the big picture. And then Boston happened and I couldn’t think about anything else for the rest of the day. I couldn’t focus, I felt exhausted and I was all over the place emotionally.

I woke up this morning with my heart still heavy but feeling a sense of hope as read and heard about incredible acts of kindness going on not only in Boston but all over the country to support those impacted. I taught my morning yoga class with a message of kindness. I told them if you can do nothing else, just be kind. Be a good person. Love each other, help each other. The Dalai Lama claims his key motivation is love and his religion is kindness, saying “Love and kindness are the very basis of society.  If we lose these feelings, society will face tremendous difficulties; the survival of humanity will be endangered.”


And then after class I checked my phone and saw a message that an old co-worker who is a gifted athlete and talented trainer was badly injured in the bombings. Her husband suffered minor injuries and her sister is in intensive care and has gone through an amputation. The two sisters were at the finish line to cheer on their mother who was running the race. I have been in shock all day. I can’t believe it. I’ve been working with our community of athletes at Metro to find a way to rally around and support the family. It’s been amazing to see the entire Charlotte fitness community take action but I’m still just so sad that we are even in this situation and that one of our own, one of our brightest, is down. I can’t even fathom what recovery is going to be like for her after multiple surgeries and two broken legs.

I know I’m not alone in saying this but running is my refuge. It is an outlet that makes things seem okay. A way to let go and release. It’s something that makes you feel good and accomplished. Boston is a dream that many runners work towards for years and years. I cannot believe that all of that hard work and determination was overshadowed by this act of violence. And that those who were standing at the finish to celebrate the achievement of their loved ones were impacted so terribly.

To circle back to the beginning of this post, the big picture stuff is important. You need to have goals, dreams and a plan for getting you there. But the every day stuff is so important too. Today is real life. Tomorrow will come but you have to live today. The actions you take every single day are important. The way you treat others. The way you treat yourself. I beg you, if you can do nothing else…be kind and compassionate. Do not take pleasure in seeing others fall down. Don’t spend all of your time looking back at what you wish you could change or looking forward to what you wish would happen.

Live a good life and be a good person right now. My thoughts are with the Boston marathoners, spectators, volunteers, fire, police, city residents and all others impacted by the Monday’s unimaginable events.


{ 31 comments… add one }
  • Laurie of Lulu and Daisy April 16, 2013, 4:49 pm

    Well said. It is important to be kind.

  • Courtney April 16, 2013, 4:51 pm

    Beautiful post, Jen. I am so sorry to hear about your friend, I will definitely keep that family in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Hayley @ Running on Pumpkin April 16, 2013, 4:53 pm

    This is a beautiful post <3

  • She Rocks Fitness April 16, 2013, 5:00 pm

    I took yoga this morning after a restless, somber, emotional day yesterday and it was hard. My body was tight, I felt exhausted, and heavy. My teacher spoke about being grateful for the little things and the big things in life. It is important to be grateful and kind in our lives. Such things that should be so simple, but sometimes seem so hard these days. Hoping to run tomorrow to sweat it out, let it out, and be grateful!

  • Julia April 16, 2013, 5:03 pm

    Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing

  • K April 16, 2013, 5:11 pm

    Awesome, awesome post.

  • Renee April 16, 2013, 5:19 pm

    beautiful words, Jen

  • Fran April 16, 2013, 5:44 pm

    Beautiful words from the heart Jen. Thanks for sharing.
    So sorry to hear about your friends injuries.
    Margaret Ann’s girl Adrienne was also at the marathon. She is fine, just very scared and saddened.

    • Jen April 19, 2013, 2:21 pm

      i talked to my mom about that last night. crazy. sounds like adrienne is doing some pretty amazing things these days.

  • Diane M April 16, 2013, 5:56 pm

    Thank you for this post. It was perfect during this yet another unimaginable event. xoxo

  • Alyssa April 16, 2013, 6:19 pm

    I have a quote from the Talmud embroidered on my prayer shawl “The highest form of wisdom is kindness”. I love your perspective Jen.

    • Jen April 19, 2013, 2:21 pm

      i love that quote, thanks for sharing.

  • Sandy April 16, 2013, 6:58 pm

    That was a great post!! Earlier this year my daughter underwent a below the knee amputation. She wasn’t to help the family that you discussed. Maybe her sharing her story could help them in this horrible time. Please let us know how we can get in touch with them! Our family would appreciate it!

    • Jen April 19, 2013, 2:26 pm

      hi sandy – i am so sorry to hear about your daughter’s amputation and you are so thoughtful to want to reach out to them. i can direct you to the page that has been set up for them: http://www.bestrongstaystrong.net/.

  • J April 16, 2013, 7:31 pm

    Jen, I am so heartbroken to hear about your friend. I have seen her in the photos in the news. It all makes me feel sick…
    Thank you for this post.

  • Dana Star April 16, 2013, 7:31 pm

    Beautiful post…yes..be kind and love…so sad.

  • Kristy@RunTheLongRoad April 16, 2013, 7:33 pm

    i’m so sorry to hear about your friend and her sister. my thoughts and prayers are with them and everyone else. this is horrific…

  • Lauren April 16, 2013, 8:02 pm


  • Patti Smith April 16, 2013, 8:52 pm

    Prayers for all of the victims and especially for your friends. I too pretty much couldn’t do anything else after I heard the first breaking news yesterday. You are so right that kindness is what we need more of. I’m so proud to be a part of the running family, a group of people who support each other and urge each other on, putting all the “junk” aside and focusing on what’s really important in life.

  • Nicole April 16, 2013, 10:42 pm

    Beautifully said, Jen. Thanks for the reminder to be kind and compassionate it is so important to reiterate.

  • Lisa April 17, 2013, 7:43 am

    I’m a Federal Investigator/Bomb Technician in Washington DC. When we received news of the bombing I was stunned for a moment and then we hit the ground running. This has been a part of my life since 9/11 but it never ceases to shock and hurt. Thanks for the words from the Dalai Lama.

    Seeing all the folks rallying helps my spirit. “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”-Fred Rogers.

    • Jen April 19, 2013, 2:32 pm

      wow, i can’t imagine what this week has been like for you at work. i love that quote. thank you for sharing.

  • erin April 17, 2013, 9:04 am

    My heart aches for Boston. I read your friend’s story yesterday. I will keep her, her husband, and her sister in my thoughts. I’ve had a copy of the Dalai Lama’s Ethics for a New Millenium for years. I think it’s time to reread it.

    • Jen April 19, 2013, 2:33 pm

      i need to read it as well.

  • Karla @ myhighonlife April 17, 2013, 10:58 am

    This is a truly beautiful post. My thoughts, prayers & love are going to all those in Boston and those who were there for the race/spectating..to include your friend. <3

  • Hayley @ Running on Pumpkin April 17, 2013, 12:58 pm

    Very beautiful post. It never ever hurts to be kind and show compassion, and unfortunately it is something that is long forgotten sometimes. Luckily the good people outweigh the bad. <3

  • pamela April 17, 2013, 11:11 pm

    Thank you for writing this. Sending lots of love to your friend. I am so stunned and angry and bewildered. Running was always my safe place too and Boston is the oasis of pure sport. I’m so sorry.

  • Sarah April 18, 2013, 8:01 pm

    Great post Jen. My heart is still heavy but your words are so right. I heard the news while driving home from a less then stellar race in a pouty mood…what a reality check. I’m so grateful now I was able to even start and finish that crappy race.

  • Courtney April 25, 2013, 7:49 am

    This is a beautiful message. So true…it’s always possible to be kind. I wish more people realized how important this simple behavior can be.

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