I am running the 2014 Boston Marathon in support of Ironstone Farm and the work they do to help kids and adults with disabilities. To learn more about why this particular organization is so important to our family, CLICK HERE. Plus, for a short time only, you get a psychological FREE PONY with every tax-deductible donation!
And on with the blog…
I think everyone is very much aware of the events surrounding the 2013 Boston Marathon. Frankly, the coverage has gotten a little out of hand. My running buddy, Chris, put it succinctly: #BostonStrong had “jumped the shark”. This was a reference to the Happy Days episode when the writers tried to squeeze the last remaining drop of life out of the franchise by having Fonzie do something that was just too much. The media build up to Boston 2014 has made us almost numb to what happened on April 15, 2013. “Boston Strong”, once an affirmation of solidarity and resilience, had been turned into a sugary cliché.
Walking down Boylston under a stunning bluebird sky after attending Easter services and the Blessing of the Athletes at the Old South Church (just several dozen feet from the finish line), I felt any remaining cynicism inside of me melt away. The sincere outpouring of kindness, caring and (dare I say it) love from so many corners of the world has, at least for me, simply overpowered the ratings-driven, hollow attention of the news outlets. There is something very special about Boston and this year’s race that the media can neither fully capture nor from which they can fully detract.
Samuel Adams was just one of the famous members of the Old South Church. Although they did not serve communion this morning, if they had I’m guessing it would have consisted of bread and Boston lager. What they did serve up for each runner was a simple blue and yellow scarf. Mine came from Roberta in Bolingbrook. Roberta and I have never met, but I hope to track her down some day to thank her for the hours of kindness that now link us inextricably. This weekend has been filled with a series of those chance, random acts of kindness. Maybe every weekend is. Maybe I am just more sensitive to them now. Like when you polish your sunglasses and the whole world looks a little crisper. And maybe we are quicker to share those kindnesses with others. I hope this is the lasting legacy of April 15, 2013.
Tomorrow, it’s into the breach. I am privileged to join 36,000 amazing athletes in the 118th running of the greatest marathon in the world. This is a race I never really expected to run. It took me over a dozen marathons to qualify for my first Boston in 2008. And frankly I have to bust my ass to make it back each year. Boston demands my very best and forces me to be better than I thought I was. And what a gift that is.
Enough rambling, it’s time to get some sleep. Thank you so much for your support this week and over the many years. I am especially indebted to my wife, Tami, my kids, my Mom and all of my very good friends who so patiently put up with my running problem.
Happy Easter, bless you all. See you in Hopkinton tomorrow!
p.s. For the Boston Marathon Scarf Project story, click here.
p.s.s. Great to meet up with running sensei, Chris Russell, and ultra legend and buddy, Dean Karnazes!
p.s.s.s. “May you mount up with wings like eagles. May you run and not grow weary. May you walk and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31
Good luck to all the runners tomorrow . . . let’s try not to walk and faint.