Running For Boston


My daughter runs. She competes at the 1600 and the 800 so she trains by running 6 or 7 miles most days, timing herself as she goes, making sure she maintains a coach-determined pace. We visited France over Easter and she ran—along The Seine, across cobblestones, weaving through crowds. In the snow and rain, early in the morning or late at night, even loaded with homework and volunteer obligations—she runs.

Her hope is to PR—to set a personal record—which means shaving a second or two off a number she gave everything to achieve in her previous meet.

Running is about having the guts to work against something that has no compassion.

Running is about believing in your ability to improve, even incrementally, and despite setbacks and adversity.

Running is about the strength to do what hurts. It is about the pride to not get overtaken. It is about harvesting determination on a cellular level.

My son is a student at Boston College where a friend—a runner—lost her leg in the bombing. This friend was on a full scholarship, and participating in the marathon.

What happened to this young woman–to all of the victims–neither makes me sympathetic to terrorist ideals nor ready to condemn any political stances. This young woman makes me want to get in my car, drive to Boston, and help—with anything. I would give nearly anything to have been there yesterday.

Instead, and for Boston, I won’t get in my car.

Today, I will run.

15 thoughts on “Running For Boston

  1. This brings tears to my eyes. I feel so awful about what happened. So many innocent people hurt. But this is just the ugly face of evil. No ideal trumps the life of an eight year old or the safety of hundreds of people out for the pure joy of running, of stretching beyond their comfort zones. May good triumph over evil.

    • I too was deeply moved by your post. Part of me wanted to remain buried under my comforter. But no. Even though I don’t run, I will today — run to all of the places I need to go and do the things I want to do. No one may take away my freedom.

      • Lin,

        Thanks for reading my post. I think we should do it all today—push all limits, in honor of the victims. We can and will be stronger at the end of this day.


    • Linda,
      Thanks for sending your thoughts. We honor those victims by making sure that today we are stronger, more compassionate, and more dedicated to each other. I think good has already triumphed.


  2. Just heartbreaking to hear about your son’s friend. Such a joyful event and so many lives shattered. We all need to run, or do whatever we can, to overcome this never-ending scourge of evil. Thank you for your eloquent words. I was moved to tears reading this.

    • Denise,
      I have this feeling that if we could all just run today, we’d be stronger–that we’d know what it’s like to struggle and prevail, to feel pain that will help to rebuild us better than before.

      Isn’t it fascinating that this occurred during this marathon? That running–physical exercise, and all that comes with it—may be a metaphor for what we can do to prevail?


  3. What a beautiful sentiment for such a horrible experience. It isn’t really about what happened but about what we choose to do about it. And we choose to run–not in fear, but in courage, not away, but forward. Bless those whose lives have been so drastically changed by this. My prayers go out to them and their families. Thank you for this post.

    • Nancy, thanks for your comment. Do you have any thoughts on the age of the suspect? As a writer for young adults–and fiercely protective of this age group—I can’t help but struggle with the images of this young man huddled in a boat. I imagine I’m not the only one who is deeply troubled by this.


  4. Every personal story helps. As sorrowful as it is, I want to have these victims in my thoughts since there’s not much else we can do, but pray for them. And, as a runner, I am overwhelmed by what your son’s friend and all the others are going through. It’s strength and friendship that will help them right now….

    • Shari, your words, “every personal story helps,” reminds me that people have a need to be connected and that this is what stories do for us. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and I hope you keep running for yourself as well as for Boston.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s