|Thanks to Shannon for this picture|
Many consider the Boston Marathon to be the most prestigious in the world. I will probably never qualify to run it. But I know firsthand how much sacrifice and dedication goes into ANY marathon, let alone Boston.
During my own marathon journey, I underwent months and months of grueling training, sacrifices, and physical therapy, laced with countless periods of self-doubt and fear. But in the end, it was all worth it. I will never forget the feeling of being buoyed for 26.2 miles by an unbelievably supportive crowd all uniting for one goal. It was one of the greatest moments I've ever experienced to approach and cross that finish line.
I can't possibly imagine how it must have felt for the Boston runners/spectators and the entire city of Boston to have their hard-fought accomplishments, goals, dreams, and day of celebration marred by such unspeakable tragedy. It is literally heartbreaking that someone could commit an act of such senseless cruelty in ANY time or place, let alone the Boston Marathon finish line.
My prayers and thoughts go out to all of Boston and all of its marathoners/spectators. Also, my very heartfelt thanks go out to the first responders, paramedics, police, firefighters, and other public safety officials that were running towards the scene of the tragedies while everyone else was running away.
Last night Adam and I went to the Blackhawks game at the United Center. As you might expect, they had a moment of silence to honor what happened in Boston. There is also a tradition at all Blackhawks home games that the crowd cheers and claps as loudly as they can during the national anthem. Last night's anthem was no exception, and it is during times like these that the national anthem feels more meaningful than ever.
It made me think of this national anthem singing at the NHL All-Star game in 1991. The crowd was so loud that they nearly drowned out the singing.
Runners are uniting today by wearing their race shirts or the Boston Marathon colors (blue and yellow). Thankfully, my workplace allows us to dress casually if we so choose. Today I am wearing the most meaningful-to-me race shirt that I own:
To me, this race shirt symbolizes the struggles, the tumult, and the seemingly unsurmountable challenges that we all face in running, as in life. This shirt also symbolizes to me the resiliency, strength, and triumph that we feel once we do meet life's challenges head-on. When we fall down, we get back up, we dust ourselves off, and then we keep pushing forward. Similarly, we will NOT be defeated by the tragedy in Boston. This will only serve to strengthen our resolve further.
I am very proud and thankful to be a part of a running community that is so incredibly strong, close-knit, and supportive. May we all continue to work together and unite to always move forward in solidarity, both as runners and as human beings.