Love to Boston - Shelby Stanger
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Love to Boston

NZ_RaglanRainYesterday’s explosions at the Boston Marathon, killed three, injured and made amputees out of many. It’s horrific. The marathon is the great metaphor of life — running, enduring pain, training to conquer your own individual Everest, and it ended in a warzone? None of it made any sense.Like everyone, it left me angry and sad, and here in New Zealand in a small farm town in Raglan, I just felt isolated and lonely and wanted to do something about it.

This morning, it was raining, with 18-knot winds.

I went running. It was all I could do. Running has been my response to doing anything that’s ever been difficult in my life. I ran when my dad died. I ran out of vanity when I lost for ASB president as a senior in high school. In fact, I entered a race that afternoon. Even though I wasn’t on the track team at the time, the coach let me enter the 400-meter individual race. I won. After the race, I ran home and felt better about everything. I realized it was stupid anyway and I didn’t even deserve or want to be the President, I just liked the title.

Since I was 11, I ran when I was sad, confused, angry, depressed or just had too much energy. I’ve run a fair amount of times for pure procrastination reasons. I competed as a runner through college. Running now serves as the perfect elixir to cure a looming deadline that feels impossible to finish. Running is also the best recipe for patching a broken heart.

When I heard about the runners who had their limbs ripped off at the finish line yesterday, like any sane human, it made me feel sick. Not because it could have been me, but because it was me. I am a runner. These are my people. These are “our” people. This wasn’t some crazy desert village in Afghanistan. This was Boston.

On my run this morning, I got pelted by sand and rain in my face and it felt good, like maybe the pain would take out some of the sadness. in the air. After 30 minutes of seeing no one else, I stopped and looked up. A man on a black horse galloped past the sand dunes near the entrance to the harbor from the beach. I waved and he and his horse kept going.  I’m not sure why, but I kind of hoped the horse to stop and look at me and move its hoof and wave, but it just kept running, and so I did too. Like a lot of my runner friends, all I could do today was run. I ran further than I have in months. I was just so sad and mad and felt so helpless and sorry. I couldn’t sleep last night. We all know people who were injured. I don’t know where this is going but it made me feel better writing it.

Someone just sent me this.

It sums up what Boston was all about, and let’s people know that next year despite how awful it will feel, the race will have to go on. For those of you in Boston, my heart and thoughts are with you.

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