Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thoughts on Boston

It has taken me awhile to put together my thoughts on the Boston marathon bombing.  The event has been on my mind often, but I haven't found myself able to articulate my thoughts.  I found much more clarity while on a run...imagine that.

It is so sad that we live in a world in which incidents like this one occur.  I suppose it is part of being an adult as opposed to the sheltered-ness of childhood, but it does seem like tragic events occur more regularly now.  I will never understand how someone can be filled with so much hatred towards others, especially when innocent ones are targeted...and frankly, I'm glad it's beyond my comprehension.  I hope my family and I always know so much love and compassion that such hatred is beyond us.

I was privileged enough to run the Boston marathon several years ago.  If you are a runner, it is an experience unlike any other.  The entire city is alive with running excitement.  I doubt any other running event comes close to creating the sense of community, togetherness, and passion that the Boston marathon does.  If you are ever given the opportunity to participate, DO IT!

I trained my ass off.  Pardon my language, but there is really no other way to describe how hard I trained for Boston.  I was up at 4:30 most days, running in the cold, dark winter mornings.  I put in the miles, hours, and effort in a way I have never come close to since.  All that work and then the weather didn't want to participate.  Boston was hit with a Nor'easter the same day/weekend.  I was worried that all my hard work wouldn't pay off because of something beyond my control.

Luckily, the weather wasn't as bad as predicted.  I ran a PR (to this day).  The entire event was amazing. 

Yet, when I think of the day I ran the Boston marathon, the most vivid memory of the day is trying to reach my mom on the phone afterwards.  It took awhile to get through.  I immediately started gushing about the race.  I think she let me finish, then she asked "Did you hear what happened in Blacksburg today?"  You see, I ran the Boston marathon on April 16, 2007.  The same day of the tragedy at Virginia Tech.  While I didn't know anyone personally that was killed, it was so difficult to comprehend.  A girl that I sat with at lunch occasionally lost her father.  Friends of my parents lost their daughter.  It was/is so difficult for me to even begin to understand the sense of loss these families feel.  It was hard to believe it all took place in quiet, little Blacksburg.  It is so strange to see images of your small hometown on every possible news source in the country.

When the bombings happened at this year's marathon, in my mind, I couldn't believe another tragedy would now be connected with that race, at least in my mind.  Most people probably don't connect the Tech shootings with the Boston marathon, but I do.  The whole thing makes me wish there was something I could do to show there is still so much love in the world - something to shower love on both communities through next year's race.  Some small way to show that while there will always be a few bad people, there are even more people filled with hope and love.  I would love to find a way to permanently stamp a memory of love and compassion on my memory and both Blacksburg and Boston.

Most likely, I won't put my thoughts or feelings into action.  Between family, possibly working, moving, helping support Justin through graduate school, etc, I'll excuse myself out of finding the time to train for a marathon to qualify for Boston again, much less the Boston marathon itself.  Nor will I find the creative way and energy to show love to both towns.  Sadly, I guess that makes me a bit apathetic.  I wish it didn't, but in this stage of life I seldom find the time for such things.  However, I do believe in the power of prayer and so for now I'll continue to pray for love for both towns and for our entire world.

Post race dinner with my friend who I went with and whom also raced that year.

Touring the Red Sox stadium the day after the race.