This was the first time in eight years that I hadn’t felt the build up of Marathon Monday. Listening to the meteorologist who was training talk about what day would be better for the long run on the weekend, running with people much faster than me on the Minuteman Trail and on into Boston in the weeks leading to the marathon. Being intimidated and then inspired by my good friends’ desire to run the Boston Marathon. But today? Today, I almost forgot.
The marathon was in the back of my mind as I emailed my friend Allie, asking if it was strange to not be running this year. And again when Micah, Allie’s husband, sent an email saying that he was excited to be at the finish line and watch the elites cross. And then again when the message from Fox25 came across my phone: “Explosion at Marathon Finish Line.” Surely it was something small, right? An accident.
But it wasn’t. It was something terrible – people are dead, including an eight-year-old boy. People have lost limbs. And, while my heart breaks for anyone who would lose a leg, there is added tragedy for someone who had just completed the marathon. I think of the grueling hours of training, the time away from your family, when you dedicate yourself to a marathon. And to have it all destroyed forever when you’ve just finished doing something you love. I can’t imagine.
I haven’t been running lately. Too many things have gotten in the way and excuses have become too easy. But I need to start again. I know it’s not going to change anything for anyone else, but I have two legs. I can run. And I can rejoin the wonderful community that embraced me with open arms when I could hardly do more than walk fast.
I held Robbie a little longer tonight and talked to him before he went to sleep. I made him promise me that he would make the world a better place and be kind. And, perhaps most importantly, help. If I can teach him nothing else, I hope that I can teach my child to help. And, God, I hope he does. I hope we can all raise our children to help and be kind. It sounds so simple, but, after events like today, I can’t help but think about how impossible it seems.