Last year on Marathon Monday, I worked from 6am to 2pm, and then went home to fall on the couch and watch The People's Court while half-napping (I don't do 5am wake-up calls well). I was marginally interested in a typical landlord-tenant dispute when the show was interrupted by a BREAKING NEWS update.
Wow, I said to myself, something must really be up if Channel 38 [which runs mostly courtroom shows and canceled sitcom reruns] is running breaking news.
38 was simulcasting Channel 4's breaking news updates on two explosions that had just taken place at the Boston Marathon. And while I'm not CSI, I knew.
Despite the fact that I've lived in the Boston area most of my life, there are times when I feel oddly detached from the Marathon Bombings. A few years ago I used to work on the Marathon route (not in downtown Boston but along Route 135 in Natick), but no longer. I've always fantasized about running -- and finishing -- the Boston Marathon, collapsing right after crossing the finish line, fighting back tears as I pushed my body to the limit and it miraculously responded, yet never in my life have I run more than 5 miles at a time. And I can't say I know anybody who got hurt in the bombing, or worse; can't say I know anyone who's even acquainted to anyone who got hurt, or worse.
Today I opened the store, worked from 4am to 1pm, and then went home to take a catnap (I don't do 3am wake-up calls well). I woke up and felt a burst of energy, so I went to the gym, like I usually do on Mondays. And then I hopped on a treadmill, something I don't usually do on Mondays or any other day, and ran for 10 minutes. The total distance was 1.5 miles, not 26.2, but it felt great.
And then I went to do The Double, back-to-back classes of cardio kickboxing and weightlifting, which I've set as a goal to do a few times this year. It was pretty exhausting. In all, I worked out for 2 1/2 solid hours.
I couldn't quite figure out why I had such a burst of energy until it hit me:
There are people who ran 26.2 miles today.
There are people who cannot run or lift weights or shadowbox today because of what they lost in the bombing, yet many of them still are running or dancing or doing whatever in a more nontraditional sense.
There are people who were along Boylston Street last year who are fortunate to be alive today.
And in that moment I felt a small sense of something much larger than me. Boston got sucker-punched last year. But Boston moved on with life.
In the end, Boston won.