Thursday, December 19, 2013

With a heavy heart...

So. This is a training blog. Through which I will share my journey from here to Copley Square.

This is week one of eighteen leading up to the Marathon. For the next 18 weeks, I will obsess over every twinge, sniffle, hill repeat and sprint. I’m currently watching a finger, both IT bands, and a hip, for those keeping score.

However, as I lay out my training plans for the next few months, this week reminded me that this marathon, like last year’s, is about something more important than how much I'll be running.

My community has suffered another loss, another teenager who, like her friend in whose honor I have been running, fought depression hard. At the funeral, her Rabbi made a point of describing her parents as good parents. Her family read poems and talked about the child’s love of all life aquatic and appetite for adventure. Her curiosity. Her ability to draw connections that most of the rest of us would never get to on our own. Her brother said goodbye. What felt like ten thousand people from our community almost immediately surrounded the family (both families) with hugs and food and memories.

And I’m thinking to myself, I’m running only a marathon. Only 26 miles. Not nearly enough to measure out my grief or the empathy I carry for families who’ve lost children, especially this way. 

I have two really important reasons to run this marathon in support of suicide prevention and grief support services, but really I have about 4500 just counting the kids in my town. I know I cannot stop every suicide, but I can do my part (with your help) to make sure that support is out there for people at their most vulnerable, and for those who have to learn to live with loss.

Hug them hard. Make sure they know that there are people out there who will reach back, without judgment, if they need to reach out. And make sure that they know they can volunteer, too, to answer calls, chats and texts from kids like them. Every one of them has more to offer than they know.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

"Love is strength, stay strong Boston"

I do not easily fall for groupspeak. However. This #BostonStrong of which we tweet...

No one is in this alone, perhaps, is what the bombings have given us a chance to say to each other. Because it could have been any of us, it was all of us? This sentiment resonates with the work of Samaritans and my whole point of running the marathon last year. 

Earlier in the blog I wrote about two times I went splat training last winter, I think. I've already had my first black ice wipeout - thankfully on foot, testing whether I should try to bike down the hill (no!) and I got up again. Should have been a stunt double for all the falling. Good practice for my later years, I guess. But I digress. 

Boston Marathon 2014 gives everyone touched a chance to get up again.

I mean, really. Could they have picked a more symbolic public assembly than the Boston Marathon? It's not even work here to lift the symbolism from sub- to text. Really. Dumb@sses.

Anyway, #BostonStrong. Since April, I have passed this encouragement, just off Mass Ave in Cambridge, on my way to and from my temp job: 

Mid-October, before THE RED SOX WON THE WORLD SERIES! I found this in Lexington, at Wilson Farm

And, over the summer, when I was fortunate enough to be on holiday just about as far west of Boston as you can get and still be in the USA, #BostonStrong crossed the Pacific Ocean and affected someone there, too (graffiti in HI involves dead coral white rocks on black lava rock canvas. Cool, no?)

Aloha, indeed! What's your #BostonStrong?