9 years ago:
I found myself feeling scared in one of the safest and most sacred places I knew — running.
The Boston Marathon bombings left me rattled, to say the least.
We were there, at Heartbreak Hill, cheering on runners like we did so many years.
The day became a blur — runners stopping to check their phones and someone shouting, “There’s been an explosion!”
Frenzied rush to a friend’s apartment, not able to call or text for updates because of the over-log.
Slowly watching the news unfold.
Terror in knowing we had friends at the finish line.
Realizing people had been badly hurt; people had even died.
I woke up alone the next morning and walked from my hotel near the finishline area to my bus.
It was quiet, eerie.
Yellow tape and littered streets, national guard in formation.
This was not the after party celebration of marathon Monday that we all knew.
This was painful, frightening.
I was far from alone in these feelings.
And as I returned to NYC where I was living at the time I knew I had to do something.
The only thing I could think to do was run.
And invite my fellow NYC runners with me.
So, days later, a Central Park 10k started with all of us in a big circle, arms slung around each other, listening to a few individuals speak who were there— and we found stillness in 26 seconds of silence.
Then we ran.
We laughed and we cried.
We healed together.
We took back running and we continued to take it back.
In challenging times now, when the world feels a mess and it can seem so easy to detach—
I’m reminded that the best way to heal is to come together as one.