April 17, 2013

For Boston.

Sienna was sleeping soundly for a nap for the first time in a week on Monday when Ellen was interrupted for the news. I was supposed to be napping too, but I found myself watching in horror.  Both Boston and running have a special place in my heart. In fact, my first clear memories of Boston were making the trek up to watch my brother run in nationals in high school. Wide eyed enamored with the city, Quincy market (and for sure in high school that HUGE abercrombie), cute restaurants, and the college students that seemed to pour out of every corner.

I walk the line of runner. Sometimes I am training and running and even completed the Philly half marathon with J one year. Other times I barely run a few miles a week. But there's a certain love, and energy about races. When I'm not running them, I'm watching them. Cheering on J as he crosses finish lines, S in the sling or stroller smiling these days. One of my best friends is an avid runner. She ran until she was almost literally giving birth. There's no doubt that even in the times in my life when I am not lacing up my shoes, my respect for runners never waivers. It's a push your body push your mind sport. And when you are at the finish line of a race, cheering on your husband or friends or if you yourself know you only have a few steps left.... something magical happens-- excuse the cheesiness. There's a sense of accomplishment, a sense of pride, and a sense of community. Picturing for just a moment what it felt like to be at that finish line gives me chills through my body. It could have been someone I loved. It could have been me. And then I think, after the tragic 9-11, people still fly. We do it every day. And after the 2013 Boston Marathon, people will still run- probably with even more conviction and pride.

And Boston... Boston is a city that has always had my heart. When I thought about where this happened- it broke my heart. I pictured the college students frantically calling parents. I pictured that dad who lost his son. I pictured this gorgeous city full of sadness. I couldn't help but cry. Because for me, Boston has always been a city full of happiness, full of tiny shops and good brunches and good friends. From visiting in high school for track meets to visiting my brother in college when he went to Northeastern (Note: I cannot believe my mom let me stay with my brother during his dorm or disgusting apartment days. How did I not get a bacterial infection from those dirty floors and mice?!) Boston was always the "fun" place to be. My brother made Boston a connected city where everybody literally knows your name (Cheers? Anyone?) He would whip us in and out of restaurants and bars and in each one introduced me to yet another friendly face. When he transitioned from the single days to meeting his wife, our visits became less about bars and night life and more about exploring the city. I loved Newbury street shopping and lunches. I loved that the fall REALLY felt like fall- New England gorgeous fall. Last year, they moved out of Boston and closer to us. And I've often thought that I am forever grateful to have my family closer- but I really miss that perfect city. My hope is that Boston shines through right along with the sport of running. That people are able to go back to and embrace the area where the explosions happened- that the city and the people are loved. That the heroes and stories that were a positive light on that day are remembered.

Anytime a child is lost, it always gets me emotional- there is just something wrong with that. And as I get older, I realize a child is still a child in their parents eyes no matter how old they get. My grandmother has told me so many times- a parent shouldn't bury their child. All three of the victims of this tragedy were "kids". A college student from china, a young professional, and an 8 year old. I wish their families and especially their parents a ton of hope, love, and the patience to navigate the path of grief they are sure to have ahead of them.

Sending tons of love to the running community and to Boston.



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