Day One

by sarajaneafshar

The Next Day.

Today as we settled into our property law class our professor, Paul Teich, had a few words for us. He picked up crinkled pages torn from a legal pad, and I could see the deliberate scrawls that covered them. He reminded us, fledgling lawyers, no matter where we go there will be people surrounding us who, violently or nonviolently, will want to undermine law and order. He wanted to thank us for working hard to become lawyers because while we work to maintain and improve American justice, others will be working toward disorder. It was 12:43 PM. Twenty-four hours had not yet passed since the Boston Marathon had been terrorized in an act of cowardice. It was a type of cowardice to which, sadly, my generation of twenty-somethings have grown accustomed.

A Well-Known Story.

At the 1967 Boston Marathon, K.V. Switzer showed up on race day in sweats and a bib with the number “261”. The race then was all-male, no women allowed, so when it was discovered early on the course that K.V. was Katherine Virginia, or in other words, a woman (she was actually wearing lipstick during the race), the race manager tried to physically remove her from the course. A dramatic retaliation from a fellow runner took care of the manager, and Switzer raced on. She raced until the finish line. Her famous words after the marathon should ring triumphant in light of this history, but today I read them through a lens of disturbing irony. “If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon”. These words were true on April 15, 1967. They should have been true on April 15, 2013. But they weren’t.


When those murders were committed in Newtown, Connecticut, town officials were put in the awkward position of having to ask the public to stop sending charitable donations, whether they be supplies, teddies bears, or cash. They had nowhere to keep all the stuff. I don’t want to get into what criticisms the world may rightfully have of this country, but you cannot accuse the American public of lack of compassion when tragedy strikes. The folks at Newtown knew that the material, as generous as it was, would not help the healing. So what will?

What I Can Do?

Before the bombs went off yesterday, I was watching the marathon on TV while preparing for my law school finals. I decided I was going to go for a run that night. I am not much of a runner, but I was inspired. I didn’t know that Boston Police was going to ask everyone stay off the streets in just a few hours. In the aftermath, I could not go for a run last night so I went for a run today instead. And I will run tomorrow. And I will run the next day. And I am going to run every day in this city (or wherever I may be) for 365 days in memory of those who lost their lives, and, God forbid, those who may lose their lives yet as the stories continue to come out from the area hospitals. I am going to do this for everyone who lost a limb or even an ounce of blood yesterday. I may not be much of a runner today, but I am going to run my way through a year of honoring goodness. This project is a personal goal and it is so tiny compared to what happened yesterday, but if we can allow these depraved acts to impact us in a way that ennobles us to reach deeper into ourselves and create a better world through simple acts of sacrifice then we’ve chosen healing over hate, and we’ve chosen to multiply the good and drive away the evil. Katherine Switzer was harassed by press and Boston Marathon officials as she ran the race. At first, she was mad. Then as she ran she said, “the distance, as it always does, gave me time to think and dissipated my anger”. If you are angry, lace up and let’s go.

First Run

You photographers can cringe, because I am going to be documenting my runs with my camera phone. Today I ran along Revere Beach. There has been some attention here on possible people of interest in the bombing, and the pink elephant in the room is that this area has a large Arab/Muslim population.I personally don’t have any theories, I just know justice always prevails, if not in this world, then in the next. Here the apartment that was searched. It doesn’t sound like anything of interest was determined.


I absolutely love looking out to Nahant while the waves hit the sand on Revere Beach and planes headed for Logan are flying so low overhead it seems like they will boink you on the head.


While on the side streets I saw five tough, grown men going as fast as they could to get to an ice cream truck (oh, the sheer glee when they reached the truck!), and then I turned to the next block and went by a ripped dude in a doo-rag casually cradling three tiny puppies as he walked down the street. When did Revere get so adorable?

Check out the fog on the sand today


On another note, I am not measuring times or distances yet since I am just going to be getting into shape the first couple months of this. Then, considering my nature, I am sure I am going to have a lot of fun being competitive, even if only against myself! It is going to be hard to find time to run during finals, but I am committed. For now, my run is over, my feet are up, my books are out, and the Red Sox are on the TV. It is a perfect night in Boston… for some of us. For others, the pain has just begun. This city needs a lot of love right now. I love my city.