When asked by the American Recall Center to write a post about Who Keeps You Healthy, many ideas came to mind and it was hard for me to narrow it down to one person. I knew I also wanted to write a post about the 2013 Boston Marathon events as today is the one year anniversary. After a few days of thinking about both of these posts, it dawned on me that it's the city of Boston who keeps me healthy.
I never could have imagined the tragic events that occurred a year ago would happen anywhere, let alone in my city. I mean, who wants to mess with a bunch of endorphin-high runners? That is definitely a group you don't want to get angry, and I learned over a short period of time, that neither is Boston. It truly amazes me how amazing Bostonians are and how the city came together to help complete strangers find solace during such a terrible time.
I remember April 15, 2013 like it was yesterday. I had volunteered to cheer on the runners at mile 18. I wanted to volunteer at the finish line, but decided it was easier to get to mile 18 than the finish. I got a later start than planned and was irritated by all the traffic to get into the parking lot at the train station. What normally would have taken me 30 minutes, took nearly three times as long due to all the spectators of the marathon using the train to go see their runners along the route. After cheering on runners for about five hours, I hopped on the train back to my car. I had noticed that I had very limited cell reception, but figured it was due to being on the train. Then, when I finally returned to my car, I had better reception - and multiple texts, voice mails and emails from friends and family asking if I was okay. I had no idea what had occurred at the marathon finish line until I turned on the radio and heard the news. I remember immediately crying and thinking "Thank God I didn't volunteer at the finish". I called my parents to let them know I was okay, then headed home. I remember crying the entire drive home. I couldn't believe what had happened.
I found myself glued to the TV over the next few days, in awe of what had happened - as well as how Boston was responding. Many runners who were staying at hotels in the area of the finish line were not able to which led to an outpouring of strangers offering a place to stay or even the use of their showers or a meal. It made me, and still makes me proud to be a Bostonian.
Although it's been a year, not a day passes that I don't think about or hear about something related to the 2013 Boston Marathon. Whether it's hearing about how amazingly well the survivors have been healing or how people who have never run farther than 10 feet have joined various marathon teams to help raise money for the One Fund. We've always been a proud city, but it still think it's completely awesome how Boston came together to not only support the running community, but to show the world just how strong our city can be. Boston strong, in fact.
When I'm struggling while out on a run or bike ride, I think about the events that occurred and how strong the survivors have been while working so hard to heal. In fact, the day after the marathon, I hopped on my bike and went for a ride near the ocean. I thought about the events of the day and began to cry while riding. I don't want to sound selfish, but for me, that ride was extremely therapeutic as I realized how lucky I was that I decided not to volunteer at the finish. I was also crying because of everything that had happened the day before. Boston was hit hard, yet we persevered. It's because of this, I get out and move and stay healthy.
So, to answer who keeps me healthy?
Martin Richard, 8, of Dorchester, MA
Krystle Campbell, 29, of Medford, MA
Lingzi Lu, 23, of China
Sean Collier, 27, of Somerville, MA
270+ who were injured
The countless first responders and those who cared for the injured for the weeks and months following the events
THE CITY OF BOSTON
We are forever Boston Strong.
Disclaimer: I was asked to write this post as part of the American Recall Center's Who Keeps You Healthy Campaign. All thoughts are my own.
Labels: Boston Marathon, Boston Strong, Who Keeps You Healthy