Friday, April 3, 2015

Countdown to Boston! - The New Normal

It's funny how we don't even put Marathon after Boston once the calendar turns to April. The entire city and the entire world is counting down to Boston. It's a rite of Spring that I wrote about in my blog just before 4/15/13. I was so excited to anticipate the reunion with my Race for Rehab teammates and celebrate at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel...and then it happened!

Last year the entire City was counting down to Boston beginning with at least the 100 day mark. The words of President Obama echoed strongly throughout our City:

Marathon Weekend was spectacular. Our City was Boston Strong, Brilliant, Resilient. There was the floodgate of emotions and an air of celebration and commemoration that goes with a one year anniversary of a tragic event. And then on Marathon Monday we experienced the spectacular victory of Meb.

This year, Mayor Walsh has declared 4/15 to be One Boston Day; a day of service and a day to celebrate the resilience that is Boston Strong.

There will be a full day of activities on 4/15 at Old South Church. I am honored to be invited to participate in the morning activities which focus on health and wellness. I will be selling copies of "Journey Well" and donating proceeds to the Resiliency Center, as well as sharing my inspiration and helping to celebrate the runners, resilience, strength, courage and community that is Boston Strong.

Next weekend, Brittany Loring has her Boston Strong 2.62 mile run/walk to benefit the Brittany Fund for Trauma Recovery.

There are upcoming launches for the Heather Abbott Foundation and the Arredondo Family Foundation.

The creation of the Arredondo Family Foundation in response to personal and public tragedy as a statement of perseverance and of unrelenting positive social change. The Arredondo Family Foundation raises educational scholarship funds in honor of both the Arredondo sons as well as awareness and advocacy for families struggling with the loss of a child to international war fatality or to the internal, mental war sometimes ending in suicide. You may remember Carlos as the man in the white cowboy hat who saved Jeff Baumann's life on 4/15/13. You can read more about him in my profile, People Who Are Boston Stronger: Meet Carlos Arredondo.

On 4/19, The Heather Abbott Foundation officially launches which helps provide customized prostheses to those who have suffered limb loss through traumatic injury, with a special focus on women and young girls. Your donation is used to provide financial support to individuals who cannot otherwise afford the prosthetic limb that can help them return to the life they love. Please help us provide amputees with the financial resources they need to ease their way into their new normal.

The new normal...Counting down to Boston used to mean taper madness, everyone putting out their last minute pitches for fundraising and there was an ease and excitement, almost a taking for granted of anticipating the running of the most revered marathon in the world.

But now counting down to the Boston Marathon has a new normal. While we wonder if Meb can repeat his 2014 victory and if maybe this will be the year that Shalene Flanagan wins Boston along with setting up our phones to track our friends out on the course, we all have other things to think about.

Recovery - physical and emotional - is a lifelong process for those injured in the blast and countdown to Boston includes special prayers for all those experiencing a new normal in their lives. We wonder where are they now and how are they doing...who will be running the BAA 5K and who in the survivor community will be running Boston.

This year, the countdown to Boston involves wondering if the trial of the accused bomber will end before the anniversary of 4/15 if not the marathon.

It is 2 weeks, 2 days, 17 hours and 43 minutes and counting until Boston runs as one again.

Journey well!

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.

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