Boston

As a runner and a human being, I am heartbroken by what happened yesterday. First and most importantly, my heart aches for the victims and the people whose lives will be forever changed by yesterday’s terrible event.

As a runner, my heart hurts for runners who participated in the marathon. For those who finished before the explosions, I am sad that what should have been a joyous day was turned into a day of panic, fear and sadness. I met a lady when I ran Dizzy Daze who told me she was running Boston for the first time. Based on our conversation, I know she worked her ass off to qualify and running Boston was a dream come true. She was quoted in the Seattle Times:

“I cried when I crossed the finish line,” she said. “It was this beautiful, I-am-a-strong-person and I-can-get-through-this moment.”

Then, 20 minutes later, she stood in the middle of the street with a knot in her stomach, feeling vulnerable and helpless. Those two moments aren’t related, she said, but she will never be able to think about one without the other.

For those who trained for months/years and weren’t given the opportunity to finish the race, my heart aches for them as well.

To the people of Boston – for whom this marathon is a joyous, special tradition – I can’t imagine the pain, shock and sadness they’re feeling.

A marathon isn’t just a silly race; it represents what’s good and pure in humanity. In the Washington Post’s Article If you are losing faith in humanity, go watch a marathon, the writer says (with emphasis added):

The finish line at a marathon is a small marvel of fellowship. Everyone is there to celebrate how much stronger the runners are than they ever thought they could be. Total strangers line up alongside the route to yell encouragement. Bands play. Some hand out cups of water, Gatorade, even beer. Others dress up in costumes to make the runners smile. The fact that other people can run this far makes us believe we can run that far. It’s a happy thought. It makes us all feel a little bit stronger.

The Boston Marathon is especially sacred. Not just anyone can run Boston; unless you raised money for a charity, you have to qualify to run Boston. You have to be fast. For many runners like my dad and me, running Boston would be realizing a dream. As my dad wrote in an email last week:

For many of us, those BQ standards represent an almost impossible achievement. We won’t squeak in — we’ll sacrifice and sweat and discipline ourselves for months and years to become something we weren’t before the effort. We will have trained as hard as we could, and then a little harder.

It’s tough for me to process and think about what happened yesterday. I’m sad, angry, confused and scared. But I will keep running. And I will keep working toward my goal —  to qualify and run the Boston Marathon.

My thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this terrible act of evil.

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4 thoughts on “Boston

  1. Megan, you so eloquently gave expression to your thoughts and feelings. I had such difficulty falling asleep last night thinking about it. I feel betrayed, grieved and just so sad that someone could choose to do something so inhumane and evil. My heart also aches for all those who ran, who cheered them on, and who now must deal with the pain of this event. It is a tribute to the human spirit and our humanity that we continue to be shocked, grieved that such evil. I never want to become immune to it.
    I keep remembering the images of people not just running away but rushing toward those who were injured. That speaks volumes of the best of who we are as a human family.
    On a very selfish/grateful (amazing how easy it is to feel conflicted) level, I was glad that you and your dad weren’t there.

    • I intended to add the following: While I am grateful that you and your dad were not part of this particular marathon, I WILL CELEBRATE the day the two of you complete the Boston Marathon!!

  2. Evidently I heal even slower than I run; I’m still trying to truly feel and comprehend what should never be felt and comprehended. Never. What kind of world is this, this human world? How many Paradises have to be paved before we just shout and insist:
    “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore!”?????
    Of course I stole that line from the movie, “Network.”
    I can’t come up with anything closer to how I feel than those words of disillusioned outrage. “I’m mad as hell and …”
    I tried to share what I felt to the assistant at the chiropractor’s office: “I feel so dispirited.”
    “Don’t,” he said; “that’s exactly what THEY want.”
    I knew he was right. THEY use the language of violence and terror to strip US of our spirit. I don’t know how the world got divided up into US vs. THEM. But for the love of all that is sacred (and the Boston martathon is sacred, a symbol of all that is worth dreaming toward), isn’t it time each and every one of us said, “No more, no mas–this has to end, this has to stop, NOW.” If the United States really is the leader of “The Free World,” maybe this is our cue to actually lead, and not just respond to terror with more terror. We are in a terrible downward spiral, not unlike an alcoholic hitting bottom. It’s time to put the bottles and bombs away. It’s time to shelter the homeless, feed the hungry, tend to the sick and spiritually shocked, stop our endless wars, bring home all our boys and unmanned drones, stop polluting our planet … it’s time to actually live up to our own ideals.
    I know this may sound naive. But it comes right out of the hard experience of a lived life. I grew up in a house where the Korean War was a daily presence, a pain in my father’s knees, a horror in his heart, and an unspoken fear buried inside me and my brothers and sister. I participated in the final days of the Vietnam War–pushed helicopters into the South China Sea, held a small dying Vietnamese girl in my arms as our small boat searched the darkness for the hospital ship … I’ve heard our politicians talk about a War on Poverty, a War on Drugs. Iraq. Afghanistan. The War on Terror. Every day there are reports of suicide bombers, roadside bombs, drone strikes killing civilians, oil spills, etc., etc. And now this, the bombing at the Boston Marathon. As a runner, this is personal. It’s all personal now. I lost my personal war with alcohol–and I came out of it a better man, and I’ve one day at a time tried to be the man I was born to be. We are ALL victims of this recent bombing. We are ALL recovering. There is no US and THEM. Whoever did this unforgiveable act is a sick individual or group. Whoever did this unforgiveabgle act must be forgiven. We can’t bomb ourselves back into a more peaceful time, any more than an alcoholic can drink himself back to sanity and sobriety. It is time to start the difficult work of recovery.
    I will keep running. I want to run the Boston Marathon more than ever. It is an impossible dream, like World Peace. And it will happen, if I don’t lose heart, if I keep moving my feet one stride at a time toward an unseen finish line. We are all in the great wide river of runners, and the river runs right through Boston.

    Amen.

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