Tuesday, April 16, 2013

It Happened Here

When I answered the phone yesterday at about 5:45PM, the first thing my sister said was, "You're not doing any more of these races."

Huh? My bike is in need of a new large chainring. My car is in need of a new exhaust system. My body is in need of a major overhaul. I have no races on my schedule. I needed some clarification.

"What are you talking about?"

"There was an explosion at the Boston Marathon near the Finish Line. I didn't think you were running but I called to make sure you weren't down there somewhere."


I had no idea. While I knew people that were running, I didn't know them well enough to make the 30 mile trip into town to cheer them at the finish line. I spent Patriot's Day the way I usually do - first I go to the Boston Athletic Association's website and try to remember who I knew that was running the marathon. I find their race number and then track them all day. I'll watch the Red Sox at 10:00 AM, start flipping between 2 TV stations to watch both the race and the game. Yesterday, I left the TV on, switching to Storm Stories on the Weather Channel and then Castle in syndication, cleaned my apartment, reset the passwords of 30 websites because of a threat of a major cyber attack and all the while, tracked the runners online... and thought that I should get back to posting regularly on this blog. At 5:00, I started wondering why no one was finishing and worried about them perhaps succumbing to the standard running injuries. It took a sister over 1,000 miles away who not only doesn't have internet access, doesn't even own a cell phone, to let me know what was happening 30 miles away from me.

Am I shocked? No. There are so many stories of, "nut job attacks," and I had heard of so many close calls that I am no longer shocked or surprised at any of this. I am simply sad, weary and disgusted - perhaps more angry than anything. As far as I know thus far, no one I knew was injured in the blasts and for that, I am grateful.

So many people spent so much time and money training to get here to realize their dream only to be slapped upside the head by some useless asshole that had some deranged idea that maiming and killing people was the best way to get across some meaningless political/religious/bent point.

The weeks leading up to the marathon, and especially the weekend prior to the race, the local media fills our homes with incredibly inspiring stories of people running for causes. NewtownStrong is a 9-person team from Connecticut, running 26 miles to represent the 26 victims of Sandy Hook Elementary School. They had a special flag flying at the 26 mile point to commemorate their efforts which wasn't too far where the second bomb exploded. There was also a running group from Wounded Warriors, sharing their stories of overcoming adversity to reach the point of being able to run a marathon and put an exclamation point on their journey. Sometimes when we say, "I trained hard," we don't have any idea what that really means.

I wish I had a conclusion to draw from all of this but I don't. I wish I had answers but I don't. I do know that humanity will endure and that the survivors will move forward, continuing their journey and will probably go on to inspire us once again. Maybe that's the real reason we're called the Human Race.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all of the families affected by this tragedy.