There are few things that I can possibly write that will ever be able to provide comfort, or ease the burdens, of those who lost loved ones or those who are still battling for their lives after the events of Monday afternoon in Boston.
I've heard this said before in the coverage a lot, but it rings pretty true to me: this cuts so much closer to home than 9/11 has. I lived in Boston for six years; it is a city that is a part of what defines me as a person. Hell, Portland is often referred to as Boston North. I ran Boston last year, and I was in Boston this weekend for the Marathon. I was in town Thursday night into Friday, walked around that Marathon Sports store on Boylston, and was supposed to be in town on Monday.
Fate kept me away.
I've said this multiple times, but being a runner (or any individual sport, for that matter) brings you into a wonderful community that often gets taken for granted. It's those smiles, waves, "how are you's," nods of appreciation that bring us together. In races, it's the camaraderie of meeting an athlete that's running near your pace, and trying to hold onto each other, pushing each other for your best. You see it all the time; the hugs and handshakes of a personal best reached, thanking one another for the effort.
It's a family. This is why I work in the industry that I do; we get to hear your stories, and help you reach for those dreams, on a daily basis. It's an honor to get to do so.
Which brings me back to Boston: it was an attack on our family. But through running, through being back out on the starting line, we as a community can give ourselves that collective hug of those smiles, waves, "how are you's," and nods of appreciation. And we'll run in honor of those who were lost or hurt on Monday.
It'll never replace or properly honor them. But we'll try to go forward and do the best we can.