Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Thoughts on Boston

One year since the 2013 Boston Marathon. Seems like forever ago and yesterday at the same time.

I was one of the last few thousand people to experience crossing the finish line of the "old" Boston Marathon. Last year, 17,580 people finished. I was the 15,961st.
It makes me sad that no one else will get to experience the old Boston Marathon.
It makes me angry that the Boston Marathon has changed for reasons that have nothing to do with the Boston Marathon. Road races in general have changed ... extra security, clear gear bags, restrictions on costumes and spectators and backpacks, and a whole bunch of reactive measures that may or may not make races safer.
I have no doubt that the 2014 Boston Marathon will be the best Boston Marathon ever. It will be different, though.
Maybe it will be different in the way that everything after 9/11 was different. I spectated at the 2002 Boston Marathon. I don't remember whether it was or wasn't different, but I do remember waving an American flag. Back then, I had no idea what a big deal the Boston Marathon was.
One year later, I am happy to report that I have zero long-term effects. Sure, I was hypersensitive to sirens on emergency vehicles for a while, but that is barely noticeable now. Part of why I am fine was self-care in the days following the Boston Marathon. My coping skills kicked in without even thinking about them. I knew what I had to do, and I knew what I had to look out for.
But I will never unhear those explosions. I do not walk the streets of Boston the same way. I will never use the expression "Have a blast" again. Ever. I have to be careful about media coverage, especially around anniversaries.
I am still counting my blessings that of all the things that could have put me or my husband in the wrong place at the wrong time, not a single one of them happened.

Boston Strong.

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