forgive me as this is a bit rambling, but I’m having trouble putting my thoughts into anything cohesive or really, coherent.
Yesterday morning I was out for a 2 mile slog (I mean, run). It was super humid and I was struggling. I was thinking how the Marathon was starting soon and how I couldn’t believe how far those people run and how I was struggling. I was thinking about how Patriots’ Day in Massachusetts was my favorite holiday and I thought I’d maybe write a blog about how much the Boston Marathon always inspired me. Well, then things changed. I was sitting at work on a beautiful day when I got an AP Alert on my phone about the bombings. I couldn’t believe it. Then all the reports started flooded in and I was, and remain, horrified, upset, angry, all of the above that something so awful happened. And happened on such a special day in Boston. Some of you (especially the ones not from Mass) are experiencing some media fatigue and I can’t say that I blame you. Let me share with you what Patriots’ Day is all about to me.
Growing up close to Boston I feel like I’ve always been aware of the Boston Marathon. It is as much a part of our sports landscape as all of the other sports (except maybe soccer. Kidding. sort of). It’s just sort of built into the DNA. When I was younger, I thought we got a week off of school because of the Marathon. Not sure when I learned that it was because of a holiday commemorating the start of the American Revolution. My junior year of High School was the first year I started going into the city for Marathon Monday. We’d go to the Sox game in the morning, then get out of the game and walk down Boylston to the the Finish Line to cheer on the runners. Often times, we’d stay and have dinner around that area and then cheer on those runners that were still running a long, long time after everyone had packed up and called it a day. I spent many years not missing Marathon Monday.
The atmosphere in Boston on that day is like nothing that can really be accurately described. Though it often rains on Opening Day a week earlier, it’s often sunny and nice for Patriots Day. At least that’s how I remember it. If I had to choose between the Sox games on Opening Day and Patriots’ Day? No contest. Patriots’ Day every time. It’s a day when the world’s eyes are on Boston and we get to show it at its best. A beautiful spring day with baseball and the world’s most elite marathon. I’ve been lucky to know some friends that have done it. But it doesn’t matter if you know someone or not, you always congratulate and cheer for all the runners. And I’m always, without fail, moved to tears watching them run.
Last year a couple of good friends from Key West were running. I was thrilled to be able to go home with them and show them my city, my state for a weekend. This year’s Marathon brought tears of sadness and anger. But I’m proud to say that I’m from Massachusetts, that Boston is my home and my heart.