Maybe it's the rain, maybe it's the clouds, or maybe it's the howling wind...something about today seems off. It leaves me with an empty feeling in my gut, very few times in my life have felt like this. Then it hits me....today marks a year since the Boston Marathon Bombing.
While a year can produce a thousand changes, some things stay the same.
A year ago I was sitting in my office, excited that I could stream the Boston Marathon live on my computer. I had my office door closed, pfft I mean remodeled paint closet, and while I worked on marketing for the summer programs I would be running I watched the elite women take off. I remember flipping back and forth from Google Chrome to Microsoft Publisher and Excel, listening to the commentary on the race. I even had a couple co-workers stop by my very well hidden office to ask why I wasn't running in Boston today! I laughed it off saying someday they'd see me there and while I'd love to have that be a dream come true one day, I know right now it is just that....a dream.
A year ago I had completed my first half marathon and had really gotten into the swing of blogging and began meeting new people who are now a constant in my life.
I remember being upset I had to drive home and would miss some of the action but knew I'd keep listening after my 35 minute commute. By the time I made it home I had forgotten about the race and realized I was out of KT Tape. I got back in my car and drove to CVS. I remember sitting at a specific intersection waiting for the light to turn when it came on the radio. "There has been an explosion at the finish line of the Boston Marathon". Even now typing it I get chills all over my body. I know I missed the light because I sat there in pure shock. I flipped a couple of stations and that was all everyone was talking about.
I raced home, I turned the TV on and immediately was bombarded with images of horror. What? How? Who? WHY!
I couldn't wrap my head around it.
If you have seen the full image of this photo you were as impacted as I was. I chose not use it out of respect.
While the entire massacre has left its mark on runners all over the world this photo in particular has impacted me. The man in the cowboy hat is wearing a Tough Ruck shirt. His name is Carlos Arredondo.
Carlos is one of the amazing transplant Americans we have living in this country. He ran TOWARDS the blast and blood like thousands of first responders. If you are unsure of Carlos' story let me tell you why this man changed my life. Carlos is originally from Costa Rica. He wasn't at the Boston Marathon last year to cheer on a runner, he was handing out mini American flags to spectators trying to spread Suicide Awareness. Carlos' oldest son was killed in Iraq serving with the United States Marine Corps in 2004. In 2011 Carlos' youngest son took his own life because of the depression he felt after losing his brother. When Carlos found Jeff Bauman, the man in the photo who lost his legs he immediately made sure to stop the severe bleeding and rushed him to a waiting ambulance. His goal after losing his sons was to do all he could to help people. Little did he know how important his actions would be that day.
The murderers, who I refuse to acknowledge, thought what they would do is strike fear into America. Well I'm damn sure we showed them what we are made of. A year ago strangers helped one another, fearless heros ran TOWARDS the blast and we are STRONGER today than a year ago. We aren't just all Americans, We. Are. All. Boston. Marathoners, runners in general are a spectacular group. There is more family love than in most families, because well, we all CHOOSE to hurt, we CHOOSE this sport that makes us vomit when we have pushed it to the breaking point, we CHOOSE this sport that makes our toenails fall off from the number of miles we impress upon our feet, we CHOOSE to wake up at 5am to log miles instead of sleeping in and we CHOOSE to support one another as we prepare to crush our goals.
I am proud to be a runner as well as a first responder, I may not have the same certifications as an EMT but I have enough knowledge to help in an emergency and would like to believe that I would have run towards the chaos on that day. It is this thought that makes me keep all of this knowledge up to date.
I would like to thank every single first responder out and think we should all take the time to remember the survivors as well as those who lost their lives a year ago today.
I will never forget Boston.
I wear my Tough Ruck Boston Strong shirt proudly today.
How are you remembering today?