I don’t know when I stopped shaking.
Even now, two days later, I can’t stop hearing the booms. One boom, I looked at my fellow editors. The second boom, I looked at the TV.
A spokesperson for the B.A.A. ran out of the press room at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel. Seconds, though they felt like minutes, went by. He ran back in- two explosions went off near the finish, he said. We were in lockdown.
Someone has attacked my city, my family, my life, my love, I thought.
My dad has run the marathon many times. My mom worked for the city of Boston as deputy arts commissioner, under Mayor Tommy Menino, and his predecessors. My grandparents immigrated to Brighton from Ireland in 1955 and my grandfather founded the New England Irish Cultural Center. My uncle was the head EMT leading operations at the finish line medical tents when the bombs went off. This was my family’s city.
Boston is my home and the Boston Marathon is our city’s homecoming celebration. In the days that have passed I’ve tried to remain strong. I’ve tried to hold my ground. But we all have a breaking point. Kind of like a long run. There’s always a point where we have to stop, take in how far we’ve come and catch our breath. The unfortunate part of that is the reality that once we stop, we find it easier to stop in the coming miles, moments, or days.
I was waiting for my stopping point, my walk break. I knew it would come. I was trying to be ready for it. But it came like a bonk. A wave of emotion I had no control over. Since it came yesterday afternoon, it’s returned at the most unexpected moments.
I can’t stop hearing the booms, seeing the images on TV of people’s limbs, and shaking, just shaking.
All I know is someone, on that horrific day, attacked my city and our support group. Marathoning, when it comes down to it, is a selfish sport. We train for our own goals, miss out on time with loved ones, family and friends, all in the name of meeting our goal- to run 26.2 miles. At the end of the day, what does that goal mean if we don’t have someone to celebrate it with? If our support group is not waiting for us at the finish line.
And on Monday, April 15 someone attacked our support group. There was no one to meet us at the finish line. The helpers ran in and did what they could but at the end of the day we were all looking for answers. But if I know anything, marathoners, the running community, and most importantly, the people of Boston, are strong. We will reach deep into our energy reserves to rise up and help each other heal. It’s going to take time but I truly think we will come out of this stronger and closer than ever before.
As for me, I’m still shaking and I don’t know when it will stop. But I know it will stop and I’ll find my finish line in Boston, with a huge support group waiting for me and the rest of the community, at the end.