Just like it is after any major tragedy, I’m sure the blog world will be full of posts today that beautifully capture the thoughts, emotions and heartache that people are feeling after yesterday. And I’m sure many people will do it better than me. But I still felt the need to write.
Boston: Ever since I was little, Boston has held a special place in my heart. Every summer, my mom, sister and I would pack up our bags and head to the east coast to visit my mom’s side of the family. I LOVED the time we spent exploring Boston. In college, I rowed The Head of the Charles regatta in Boston and made more wonderful memories in the city. Even though I don’t get there as often as I’d like to, it will always be one of my favorite cities.
Running: I’ve never run a marathon and probably I never will. In fact, as someone who has never run farther than 4 miles consecutively, it’s amazing how many friends I have that are serious distance runners…especially blog friends.
The Boston Marathon: In years past, I remember looking up the results of the Boston Marathon and being completely amazing every.single.year about just how fast the top runners can finish the race. But that was about the extent of it.
This year was different. This year I watched a close friend pave her own road to Boston. I remember when she qualified. I watched her chronicle her journey as she poured countless hours of blood, sweat and tears into her training. I calmed her nerves as we got closer and closer to race day for the race she’s dreamt about running for years.
This year was also different because of social media. It was the first year I actually payed attention to Twitter the day of the race. Considering the amount of runners in my newsfeed, it was almost impossible not to get excited. There were so many many tweets from excited runners, excited spectators and excited friends! I found myself excited even for runners I had never talked to or tweeted with before yesterday.
As Lisa ran yesterday, I got text updates throughout the race and I even teared up a little bit when I got the text that she finished because I was so proud of her! She ran such a great race. When she texted me afterwards, I could tell she was proud of herself as well!
Then, not five minutes later…tragedy.
She texted me saying there was an explosion, asking if I’d heard anything about it on the news. I had been studying all afternoon, so I hadn’t. But I quickly turned on the news and searched twitter, but still didn’t find anything.
I’ll never forget the next text. She said, “Keep looking. Something really bad just happened.”
Not five minutes later, twitter was packed full of news reports, anxious friends and family members tweeting their loved ones and messages of love and support for Boston. I spent the rest of the afternoon an emotional mess. I couldn’t believe what was happening. I felt so helpless. So I did the only think I could think to do which was to spread the word that Lisa was safe and ok and to help retweet all of the “i’m safe” messages from other runners to help ease the worried minds of others.
The events of yesterday left me feeling three things: heartbreak, anger and amazement.
- I’m heartbroken for those who were injured, for those who lost their lives and for anyone affected by this tragedy.
- I’m heartbroken over the fact that the Boston Marathon will never truly be the same again.
But more than that, I’m angry.
- I’m angry that things like this happen in our world.
- I’m angry that the accomplishments of so many runners- some who ran the race of their lives yesterday, some who may never get to run Boston again- are being overshadowed by a senseless tragedy.
- I’m angry that there were runners who worked so hard for that race and didn’t even get to finish.
- I’m angry that no one has any answers.
And finally, and most importantly, I’m amazed.
- I’m amazed at the outpouring of love and support being sent to Boston.
- I’m amazed at the blogging community and how tight-knit and close so many people can be, when many of them have never even met in real life.
- I’m amazed at just how many people out there are willing to drop everything and help in any way they can.
And finally, I’m amazed that there is no doubt in my mind that the city of Boston and the Boston Marathon will come back from this…and it will be bigger and stronger than ever next year.
I may not be a marathoner and lately I wouldn’t even go so far as to call myself a runner. But today, my heart is in Boston.
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