Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I Heart Boston.

I feel compelled to write about the horrific events at the finish of yesterday’s Boston marathon.  It’s been a while since I laced up the old joggers and pounded out the 26.2 from Hopkinton to Boston proper…5 years a while to be exact.  However, as most runners and marathoners will tell, there is something so sacred and so honourable about the Boston marathon.  That city, that race, the amazing runners, volunteers and spectators (a million strong J), they do hold a special place in my heart.  And my heart is broken for them after the senseless violence at the finish line yesterday.

In the wake of the horrific tragedy that ended the Boston marathon 2013, my heart is heavy.  I am so sorry for the families who lost loved ones.   My heart aches for those who are injured, for runners who lost limbs and for parents who lost children in this senseless act of violence.  I am so sad for the runners, many of whom have had their Boston moment (which many have trained their entire lives to earn the privilege to have) end in tragedy rather than in celebration.  To cross the finish line in Boston, amongst the supporters, families and volunteers in a marathon so steeped in tradition is a feeling of elation that is not easily put into words.  For me, it was life changing.  It was in those moments where I simply could not imagine doing anything differently or being anywhere else.  It was the truest and most simple form of being in and appreciating the moment.  I remember clearly running up Boylston Street in the last kilometer and hearing my parents and sister cheering for me before I saw them.  I witnessed tears of joy, cries of victory and strangers hugging as runners from all over the world accomplished something that was once a seemingly impossible goal; to run in and cross the finish line in the Boston marathon.  A simple, beautiful vision and goal made  real in those 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boston. 

Today, I did what most other runners also did today…I went running.  But today, more than any other day,  I was so filled with gratitude that I am fortunate enough to be a part of the running community that my run simply took on a whole other meaning.  It wasn’t for training and it wasn’t for race preparation and it wasn’t for exercise.  It was because I could.  It was to stand in community with other runners and to do what runners always do when it’s hard and when it hurts and when there is nothing else to do- we get our feet into shoes and our shoes onto pavement.  One foot in front of the other.  We run.  And we just keep running.