Every time I’ve gone to a race with my wife in tow, she waits for me near the finish line. Nothing livens me up after a long run like seeing her smiling face there as she waits. She gives me a peck and tells me how proud she is of my accomplishment, even if I don’t win anything or break my own personal record. She’s just happy to see that I finish a test of my body’s abilities, and I love her for that.
It was primarily because of those memories of my wife waiting for me to finish running that my heart absolutely broke when I started reading the news of what happened in Boston today. When I heard that the bombs went off near the finish line, I was horrified and then very, very sad. I felt like crying, and then I felt anger. What kind of animal does something like that to people cheering on the accomplishments of athletes?
And that’s the thing: Those people were not there in a political protest. They were not there as part of a religious sect. And they were certainly a mix of people from all walks of life and backgrounds. They were as innocent as innocent people get.
I’ve been crying on and off since I left work.
My thoughts also turned to the many volunteers at the race, and the paramedics, cops, and firefighters, and the way they all ran toward the explosions, even as they heard the second explosion go off. I held my breath as I saw them jump the barricades to get to people. I always joke about not thinking before I act, but those men and women really didn’t think twice before they acted. Selflessness doesn’t begin to describe it.
I also thought about Dave McGillivray, the man who organizes and runs the Boston Marathon. If you click on his name over there you’ll see a story about his devotion for the race in Runner’s World magazine. It’s really something.
I kind of joke that there are people who just want to see the world burn because I heard it in a movie. But, deep inside, I know that it’s true… And it scares the hell out of me.
It also gets me up and out of bed in the morning, for there is a ton of work to be done.
I love you, Boston. The sun will rise again tomorrow, and we’ll all go for a run, so long as we can dream.
Featured image photo credit: wallyg / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND
René F. Najera, DrPH
I'm a Doctor of Public Health, having studied at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
All opinions are my own and in no way represent anyone else or any of the organizations for which I work.
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