A year ago I was in-between jobs so it seemed like a good time to travel.
(The truth is, I thought I was going to be unemployed so going on a one-month trip seemed ideal. I would have gone away longer but I had a full marathon waiting for me at the beginning of May).
I was in London, Barcelona, France and Belgium.
I traveled alone for the first part of my trip and was with my friend, Katelyn, for the second part.
You always remember exactly where you were when you hear of a tragedy.
My childhood bedroom after just waking up. Just outside the HUB on campus. On a bus ride through the International District to work. The front entrance of my parents’ house.
These are all places I vividly remember being when I was told of horrible events — most the death of a loved one. A few were told to me in phone calls where I immediately bursted into tears. One was from news on the radio where I was shocked and in disbelief. Another was told to me in person by a family member.
I was in Barcelona when the Boston Marathon bombing occurred. I remember it clearly. It was the only part of my Europe excursion where I felt deeply sad and alone.
A year later, that trip seems so long ago.
However, that horrible event is still deep in my thoughts.
I suppose it’s because I am a runner.
I did a half marathon on Sunday and told myself I would “rest” and “not run” for “a while.”
Tuesday, on the anniversary of the bombing, I ran.
There was no question about it.
Running is a way I connect with people. It’s honestly how I stay in touch with some friends. It’s fostered stronger relationships with others. I’ve met strangers through running. It’s helped me gain more self confidence. It’s helped me set and achieve goals I once thought were impossible.
Runners are special people. As much as we want to beat each other to that finish line … as much as we competitively check each other’s times online after a race (that we may not even have run) … we are here to support one another.
We run together.
Next Monday, on Patriot’s Day, on the day of the Boston Marathon, I won’t physically be there — I’ll be all the way on the other side of the country — but I will be thinking of all the runners racing their hearts out and all the volunteers who spend countless hours/days making sure the event goes smoothly. I will especially be thinking of my friend Anna, who is racing her first Boston Marathon. I am sure proud of her.
Someday I’ll make it to Boston and be able to experience it all.
Hopefully as a runner.
That’s the ultimate dream, isn’t it?