Thursday, April 18, 2013

My Love Letter to Boston

Dear Boston,

Thank you for reminding me that there are heroes walking (and running) unnoticed among us. To the first responders, race volunteers, and bystanders who rushed in to help the injured without any concern for your own safety – your courage and selflessness inspire me. You restored my faith that the good in this world will always overcome the evil. And to the Boston residents who stopped two random women on the street to make sure that we were okay and to see if we needed anything – your generosity and kindness amaze me. You, too, are proof that good, caring, compassionate people outnumber those with hatred in their hearts.

I am grateful to you for reminding me that the connections we forge with other people are the most important things in this life. The outpouring of love and concern for Maria and me was overwhelming – once news of the tragedy broke, our phones were constantly notifying us of texts, emails, calls, and Facebook messages from people who were worried about us. I came home from Boston knowing that I am loved, and there is no more comforting feeling in the world in the midst of such a terrifying situation.

And although it seems much less important than so many other things right now, thank you for putting on a race that lived up to every last bit of hype surrounding it. The city rolled out the red carpet for us runners, and the race volunteers and spectators were nothing short of amazing. The entire course was lined with people cheering, holding funny signs, and handing out orange slices, water, wet sponges, Kleenxes, etc. The people of Boston were right there with us, every step of the 26.2 miles. It was a perfect, dream come true day right up until the moment everything changed.

My heart aches for all the people whose lives were forever altered in an instant on Monday. I have thought of little else since I got home. This morning, I proudly put on my race shirt and ran for the first time since the marathon. For four miles, instead of focusing on how powerless events like this make me feel, I thought of how I could honor the victims and survivors of the bombing in my day-to-day life. I’m going to try harder to help others in need. I’m going to let the people I love know just how much they mean to me every chance I get. While I know I will never forget what happened on Monday, I’m going to stand strong with the rest of the running community and keep running and racing every chance I get. And Boston, if you’ll have me with my just barely qualifying time, I will be honored and thrilled to run your streets again in 2014.

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