Boston

17 Apr

If you’re like me, Monday started off like any other day. I woke up, wished the weekend wasn’t over already, got ready for work, made a breakfast smoothie and headed off to work. I intended to try and catch some of the Boston Marathon footage during lunch, but a busy Monday made me completely forget about it.

I had just returned to my desk in the afternoon when a co-worker asked if I knew anyone running the Boston Marathon. I had a quick moment where I kicked myself for forgetting to watch. Then she said the most ludicrous thing.

“Have you heard anything about the bombing at the finish line? My husband just sent me a picture he saw on Twitter.”

I jumped up and went to her computer and looked at the picture. Surely this was not real. Instead of looking at a finish line of a marathon, full of supporters cheering and people running their final steps of a long race, I was seeing what looked like a war zone.

“This has to be a hoax. Is it anywhere on the news?”

Another co-worker had been listening to us and the three of us jumped on our computers to search. I googled for news on the Boston Marathon … Nothing. I hit up the new websites like CNN.com … Nothing. And just as I was logging on to Twitter to search #bostonmarathon, my co-workers were doing the same.

Immediately my Twitter feed was full of images that I wish I could erase from my memory forever. To keep from crying I told myself it wasn’t real. Surely these were extras from an epic war movie.

Shortly after, the news sites started to report on the bombings at the Boston Marathon finish line. (Side note: This isn’t the first time that I’ve gotten breaking news from social media, rather than the actual news. Oh how times have changed.) I had so much work to do, but I couldn’t tear myself away from the coverage.

Like many runners, this attack felt so personal. Not only did I run my first two marathons last year, but I have stood at the end of countless marathons to cheer on my friends for doing the unimaginable for many of us: running 26.2 miles.

But here I sat, trying to process a very different kind of unimaginable. And I couldn’t help but place myself there as I easily could’ve been one of those standing at the finish line, waiting for a loved one to cross that finish line.

It’s been two days and I’m still sorting and working through all of my emotions of anger towards the attacker(s), sympathy for the victims and their families, pride for the acts of heroism I keep seeing all over the news and even fear for I too am running a major city race this year: the Chicago Marathon. And as a believer in God, I am praying. I am praying for the strength in all of us … to let the good outweigh the bad … and most importantly for healing.

A blogger I follow tweeted a link to a piece titled “The People Who Watch Marathons” by Erin Gloria Ryan yesterday. It’s beautifully written and I encourage you to read it in full. But my favorite part was the last paragraph:

One of the many puzzling aspects of yesterday’s attacks was the question of what, exactly, the perpetrators thought they’d accomplish by targeting what basically amounts to a celebration of human tenacity. If anything, the tragedy in Boston will further solidify the bond between runner and spectator. And when the Chicago marathon happens this October, I’ll show up to run harder, and they’ll show up to cheer louder. If anyone thought this attack would discourage the runners or the watchers, they’ve clearly never been to a marathon.

Yesterday morning I put on my running shoes and ran with my friend Beth early in the morning. It was a somber run, full of reflection. We pushed ourselves, I think because we could. We will be running the Chicago Marathon together in October. And we are going to show up and run harder.

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One Response to “Boston”

  1. joannerambling April 17, 2013 at 11:30 pm #

    When I heard about this I was worried that some of my blogfriends could had been there, it was so terrible

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