Friday, June 28, 2013 many ways

So, after avoiding it for a little over 2 months, I finally went to the memorial site in Copley Square last weekend before it was taken down Tuesday.  I should have brought tissues with me.  I knew it was going to be tough and overwhelming.  I mean, just walking there, not knowing what to expect and not knowing exactly where everything was, I was getting anxiety as I approached it even several blocks away.  I had parked in the common because the BAA 10K was just wrapping up and my friend Steve was working and helping out at the race, so I figured I'd say hi and maybe we could grab lunch.  Plus, the Health and Fitness Expo was going on at the Hynes and I was thinking of swinging by to check it out. 

I walked from the Common towards Copley.  It was really hot and humid out.  Actually a beautiful day to be in the city.  My heart was pounding and I felt like I couldn't breathe as I walked down Boylston towards the finish line.  I don't spend a lot of time in that part of the city and my only memories of it are when there are barricades and busses lining the streets and runners with mylar walking around.  None of it looked familiar to me at all.  I didn't know where I was until I saw a police car and a few officers and then just past them on the sidewalk a gathering.  There was noise and the regular hustle and bustle of a city, although lighter than usual because it was a Sunday morning.  When I crossed the street to the memorial all sound seemed to vanish.  The barricades that once lined the street and separated the runners only area from the spectator and family meeting area were now covered in shoes and hats and notes and flags and bib numbers with flowers laid softly at the footing.  I walked around and took several photos.  I read some of the notes and absorbed the pain and loss of the entire city of Boston and the running world. 

I wish that I had brought my shoes or something to leave behind with all of the other momentos.  I thought about the ribbons I had made and distributed in the days following the bombings and wished that I had just one more to pin up and show my support.  I thought about the "RUN FOR BOSTON" sign in the trunk of my car and wished that I had carried it with me to place with all the other signs and notes.  Then I realized, sort of selfishly, that those things are doing more good in helping me heal than I think they would do collected and archived in a warehouse somewhere in Boston.  I shared my tears with the city that day and at the memorial 2 months later.  I chose to hold onto my memories and momentos, gathering strength from them.  I hope that like the city of Boston I can move on and recover from this experience.

I took a little bit of a break from running this week in part because of the ridiculous heat and in part because I was busy trying new things.  I am focusing on fun and making a conscious effort to spend more time with friends and enjoy the little things in life.  I got an email from the Berlin Marathon this week reminding me that it is only 3 months away.  So, let the training begin and bring on the beer and maybe even some brauts.  Oktoberfest here I come!

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