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Monday, April 15, 2013

Boston Marathon



I’ve been crying, on and off, all evening. 

This afternoon, a twisted soul (or two or more, who knows?) detonated bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.  As I type this, the casualty list is three dead (an 8-year old among them) and 113 injured.  Many grievously.

First, there was shock.  One would think we’d all be beyond shock at this point, given all the cruelties of the world we witness each day.  Even so, I was shocked.

And then my heart broke.

I was a runner once.  I trained long and hard for many years in order to, someday, run a marathon.  And I did, eventually.

But that’s just scratching the surface. 

There’s something about training one’s body to run 26.2 miles that goes far beyond physical exertion.  There’s that exploration of the mind, the heart and soul.  There are the hours upon hours and the miles upon miles spent questioning one’s abilities, all the time dreaming, contemplating, observing...suffering and fantasizing.

More often than not, fantasizing about running Boston someday.

There are marathons and then there are marathons.  Boston was the ONE.

Every sport has its ONE: golfers have their Masters.  Tennis players have their Wimbledon.  Football players have their Super Bowl, hockey players have their Stanley Cup and soccer players have their World Cup.  Athletes everywhere, regardless of their chosen sport, have the ONE.

For runners, it was always Boston.

It was always Boston because of its tradition.  It was always Boston because one had to qualify to even be granted the chance to run its fabled course. It was always Boston because the best of the best made it the ONE.

For runners, it was always Boston.  And even though I was a runner, once, I knew I’d never make it there.  Sure, it hurts to discover one’s limitations, but I learned a great deal as a runner.  And I came into the company of runners who could and did qualify for Boston.  And I came to love those runners because I was witness to their talent, their dedication, their love for the art of placing one foot in front of the other with grace and velocity.  As a runner, though artless as I was, I was part of a community overflowing with admirable souls.

And each year, on “Patriots’ Day” I cheered as people I had come to know, admire and love, gave Boston what they had.  Outcomes varied, as they always do, but I had come to know something about the heart it takes to even try and I admired them, envied them and loved them for their stalwart and intrepid hearts.

A great many hearts were broken today.

Something far more than just another foot race was defiled, bloodied, rendered a tragedy.


* * *

8 Comments:

Blogger June Calender said...

Terrorism is evil -- in market places, on buses and subways, anywhere. But taking aim at athletes and their admirers, people who strive for personal excellence is a perversity that is both evil and heart breaking.

Tue Apr 16, 07:23:00 AM  
Blogger anon. said...

Jon, thank you for your words. yesterday was a horrible day for our sport, our country, and for for all the victims. it is hard to process that one would create such a violent act on those who are typically loving, peaceful people.( as runners are) and as the runners we are, we need to reach to that place where we find our superhuman marathon strength, and show the world, that we will not allow this act stop us from our passion, our freedom, and our way of life.

Tue Apr 16, 08:08:00 AM  
Blogger Yvonne Osborne said...

Thank you for this. What that one family alone suffered is unbelievable. The Boston Marathon will live on. We will run faster, harder and more beautifully.

Tue Apr 16, 08:25:00 PM  
OpenID ebwrite said...

Thank you Jon.

Tue Apr 16, 09:55:00 PM  
Blogger Unlocked said...

It was sad. As someone with no TV or newspaper, I rarely even think to go get news on the internet. So...I was behind in learning of this tragedy. Entering community, there is a low hum, a kind of buzz, and you know that something big has occured. Pieces start to fall into place, I ask questions, I get answers. And yes, my heart breaks. So pointless. So cruel. I want to ask why, but it really doesn't matter. No answer will make it right. Hope you are otherwise well Jonas! My birthday is tomorrow. I didn't buy the Bonamassa ticket. I regret it now.

Thu Apr 18, 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger Unlocked said...

Can't comment on "Dreamin" but wanted to. I am so close to that song there was no need to play it. I know lyric and notes by heart. Wishing the hurt weren't present. Oh that dreams could take it. "♫When you're dreaming with a broken heart
The waking up is the hardest part
You roll outta bed and down on your knees
And for the moment you can hardly breathe
Wondering was she really here?
Is she standing in my room?
No she's not, 'cause she's gone, gone, gone, gone, gone....

When you're dreaming with a broken heart
The giving up is the hardest part
She takes you in with your crying eyes
Then all at once you have to say goodbye
Wondering could you stay my love?
Will you wake up by my side?
No she can't, 'cause she's gone, gone, gone, gone, gone....

Now do i have to fall asleep with roses in my hand
Do i have to fall asleep with roses in my hand?
Do i have to fall asleep with roses in my hand?
Do i have to fall asleep with roses in my hand?
Would you get them if i did?
No you won't, 'cause you're gone, gone, gone, gone, gone....

When you're dreaming with a broken heart
The waking up is the hardest part
♫" - John Mayer

Thu Apr 18, 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger Bella said...

such a senseless tragedy.

Thu Apr 18, 10:22:00 PM  
Blogger Kass said...

Immensely overwhelming.

Wed May 15, 07:36:00 AM  

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