April 15, 2013 will forever remain on our minds, as the tragic day terrorists attacked, killed and maimed people at the Boston Marathon.

But there are things we can do to defy intentions to take our spirit and instill fear. I call these the unintended consequences of terrorism: Positive pledges we make as a freedom-loving people, as a result of bad things that happen. You’re about to see how we can use this tragedy to improve our individual lives and the future of sporting events, like the Boston Marathon.

I’ve run the Boston Marathon. It’s among the most magical events in the world. You have to qualify for Boston, which makes it a great source of pride for those who run it. And when you get to Boston, you see people of all walks of life--there with a common goal to tackle the famous Boston course. People line the streets, cheering. As a participant, you can’t help but marvel at the spirit of Boston. I’ll never forget the Boston cop I turned to as I was running uphill. I was tired and needed confirmation that I would be able to keep going. I asked him if I’d be able to finish. He looked right at me, as I shuffled by and said, “You will.”

Let’s turn what happened around and use it to increase our support of this and other fitness events around the world. Get in the spirit of Boston. Don’t only get fit, but bring your fitness level up a notch. Don’t fear. Show your support for events like Boston by running a local race, cycling or swimming competitively, doing a triathlon...Whatever your sport, do it and pledge to do it well.

Doing exercise is one thing; competing with other people who share your love for a sport is another. You’ll find it gives you energy and incentive to become stronger.

Finally, let’s show our support for events like Boston. Whether you’ve run Boston, plan to run it or have no plans to run it, one way to send a message of support is to purchase and wear this t-shirt: http://www.adidas.com/us/boston-tribute-tee/_/N-1z125b0. The Boston Athletic Association advertises it on its homepage. And, according to its maker, Adidas, 100% of the profit from the shirt goes to OnefundBoston.org, which aims to help people hurt that day. Be patient, however. Many sizes in this t-shirt have sold out. Adidas plans to make more and asks that people check the website periodically for when more are available. Another option: Make your own t-shirt or other sports apparel, pledging to support the spirit of Boston. There are various websites for making custom clothes. Even Adidas has a section on its website for customizing.

We’d love to hear from you. Feel free to share your memories of Boston Marathon on Bocamag.com.

About Lisette:

Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has had the luxury of reporting on health, fitness and other hot topics for more than 23 years. The long-time Boca Raton resident, University of Florida graduate and fitness buff writes for local, regional and national publications and websites. Find out more on www.wordscomealive.com.