Remember the theme from "Cheers"? Where everybody knows your name.... Well today out on Beacon Street on part of the Boston Marathon course nobody knew anybody's name - well except for that special moment when I saw my friend Jess Lanzoni out on Beacon Street - yet everyone knew each other. Wearing my 2009 Boston Marathon Jacket and that knowing smile of a marathoner, I got in my 2.75 miles (more about my run in another post) among those either getting in their last long run for Boston or tapering to the big day two weeks from Monday.
People in the greater Boston area awoke to thunder, lightning and pouring rain. Hafsa Lewis Labreche, running for the Brittany Fund for Trauma and Recovery had posted on Facebook yesterday for us to please pray for not pouring down rain for the entire time of her 20 mile run. I thought Mother Nature was very amusing after the winter we had to put on this display early this morning as marathoners are preparing for Marathon Monday but I remembered that everyone had joined in prayer for Hafsa's run. I heard the thunder fade into the distance and the rain end. I smiled.
Runners were running the course in both directions. After I had reached my halfway point, I turned around and was greeted by throngs of runners training for this year's Boston Marathon. We'd smile, high five and I'd see that eye of the tiger in everyone who passed me. No words were exchanged but we knew...we carried in our hearts the magic that is the Boston Marathon. True to this year's slogan, There's only one Boston.
Several runners from Team MR8 passed me. I applauded and cheered them on. No words were needed. We all knew. We exchanged glances, and then smiles and high fives. It's what Martin Richard would have wanted; no more hurting people peace and being united for the good of all.
The wind kicked up and I was running against the wind and uphill but there was an energy that carried me through to the end of my run. Boston's resilience was evident once more as the sun was shining and despite the wind, everyone seemed to know Spring is returning to Boston. We weathered another Boston winter and came out victorious just as we weather the wake of the events of 4/15/13 and continue to run the race set before us with endurance.
After my run I came home, showered and got ready to meet Hafsa and Brittany at the base of Heartbreak Hill.
Their smiles were radiant! Hafsa had done her longest run yet with 3 more miles to go to put her final long run in the books and Brittany ran with her on the hills for FOUR miles! Talk about strength and resilience. Although I had not met Hafsa in person and only met Brittany once at her fundraiser, we hugged each other with the love that family has for one another with a familiarity and a knowing sharing the joy of feeling Spring returning to Boston. We talked about the power of prayer and how on Marathon Monday the energy of the crowd along with all of those praying for her journey will be like the tailwind that was at her back today carrying her through the Newton Hills
While Boston now has a new normal as we countdown to Boston runners' resilience, joy and determination was palpable along the Boston Marathon course. Out of the cloud of destruction that happened on 4/15/13, the sun is shining and runners, survivors and their families transform the darkness into goodness and light.
and counting ... until Boston runs as one again.
My latest book, "Journey Well" is now available on Amazon along with all of my inspirational books. 50% of book proceeds are donated to the Massachusetts Resiliency Center, a safe, welcoming space for survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing to heal and stay in touch with one another; a virtual hub for a widely dispersed community whose lives have been impacted by the tragic events of April 15th and the events that followed.
When terror struck the world's oldest and most beloved marathon on April 15, 2013, it was a defining moment in Mary McManus’ life and the lives of all those in Boston and around the world. It was her wake up call to return to the sport and community that have been medicine and a lifeline for her throughout her marathon of healing the late effects of paralytic polio and experiencing 9 years of domestic violence as a child and adolescent. Mary captures the essence of Boston Strong through her experience of the 2014 Boston Marathon and as she profiles the people who are Boston Stronger. Through her blog posts, poems and journal entries woven together with excerpts from her memoir, “Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility,” you will experience, through one woman’s journey of transformation and healing, that no matter what happens to us, we can all learn to journey well.