Earlier this fall I stood at a bar to order and a man came in and stood by me. He turned to say hi to a hi to a friend who sat at the bar and my breath caught for a moment as I looked at his jacket-a Boston Marathon jacket.
Let me pause for a moment. It was never my dream to run a marathon. One of my high school cross-country coaches turned me off from the idea of a marathon when they described peeing on themselves and chafing so badly their nipples bleed during their marathon. Instantly, I hugged my chest upon hearing this comment. As a high schooler the idea of losing function of my bowel movements seemed wrong and now in many ways it still does. In my mind, I couldn’t phantom why someone would do this to themselves.
Today I don’t dream of running a marathon. I think partly I’m still scared by the coach’s comment. The other part is I don’t want to commit to the amount of training it takes to complete a marathon. I won’t say I will never run a marathon because when I finished my senior cross-country season I swore I’d never run a race over a 5k. Since then I’ve run a 10k and two half marathons. However, I stand in awe of people who dream, train, and compete in marathons.
I am particularly in awe of people who compete in Boston. You qualify for Boston and depending on your age your qualifying time has to be faster then the minimum. All the blood, sweat, money, and tears poured into training, qualifying then training again, and competing amaze me. Running Boston could be an absolute perfect day to cold, wet, and miserable. In 2013 it meant referring to your race whether you finished before the bomb or had to be pulled off the course in fear. The jacket symbolizes this dedication.
This past Monday people competed again in the Boston Marathon. I watched on social media has crews readied the race and people were pumped. I scrolled through the pictures of people competing, finishing, and celebrating. Monday I was supposed to go for a swim, but instead I felt like joining in solidarity with those in Boston and went for a run.