Run.

A 365 Day Tribute to the Victims of the Boston Bombing

Tag: Boston

Day 114

Truth

After spending a few days in an idyllic place, I can’t sleep on my last night here. The days have been beautiful

Image

and I have felt rested every night and energized by my morning runs. But tonight, laying in my room in the inn by the Piscataqua, the energy of Green Acre is not calming me– it’s reminding me how much there is left to change.

I am not tossing and turning in morbid reflection, but I feel like there is so much more work I have to do to have the spirit that I admire in so many others. My runs here have been reminding me of the same. The routes and hills I want to tackle without blinking an eye are still challenging. I feel that recently my growth has plateaued on all fronts.

Image

 

To keep moving through the days as if the plateau is preparing itself for incline, that is presence I want to carry with me. “Let each morn be better than its eve and each morrow richer than its yesterday.” Goodnight, Maine.

 

Three Months

Summer

I remember studying for finals on April 15th and being so happy the sun was out and the weather was finally losing its bitter nip. The stress of the upcoming exams were fueling me just as much as the impending relief of sunshine and free-time. What happened later that day made studying for tests seem inconsequential. I couldn’t shut everything out and keep reading like a lot of my classmates could that week. I wasn’t even glued to the TV like most people, either. I was just in a state of partial confusion and disbelief, and partial sadness and empathy, and partial fear. I tend to have a lot of anxiety– something I try to meditate or run out of myself daily. In the week after the bombing, I stepped off the T a number of times whilst en route to a particular destination, trying to regroup myself, because I was convinced a fellow rider was going to do something violent. The reason why I am saying this is because when I have heard people say something along the lines of “The bombing was not a big deal– not that many people died,” I am so puzzled why a community in fear of its own members isn’t the scariest hell someone could imagine.

But, for me, something amazing came out of that day.

Image

Running has made me feel good about the world around me, simply put. I haven’t been great about blogging, but that is okay. The running is what matters most. I constantly find new things I want to explore. Hills, times, distances, locations, compete against myself, compete against a friend, try a road race, keep going, add another side street, do it before work, go.

I have found new places I love to run. (Jamaica Pond)

Image

And I’ve noticed how beautiful the “same old” places are with every run.

Revere

Image

Chelmsford

Image

On the 4th of July I was lucky enough to see the fireworks over the Charles from one of the best spots in the city of Boston. Standing on a deck high above the river, I could see extra security precautions that were taken below. Military, helicopters, street closings, a whole part of the city completely shut down, just in case. How lucky we are to have servicemen and organizations who will protect us and can’t be bought by the bad guys. How awful it is that we need to have them out on Independence Day just in case. But as night fell, and fireworks lit up the sky gratitude won over criticism and all I could think of is how much I love this city and Massachusetts.

ImageImageImage

I can’t wait to get out there again and run stronger, for myself and for Boston.

Days Sixty-Two and Sixty-Three

Outside

One more thought on being busy– I love running in the morning because most times it is the only time of day I get to enjoy being outside and in the sun during the week. It is a little sad that the conventional workweek is set up so that many of us do not get our daily “nature” time in, but I am SO lucky that I work in a place that is so close to the city and home, but that is green, lush and beautiful. 

I started my run this morning by the chapel on the BC Law campus that used to be Sacred Heart College. The cross on the top of the chapel reached for the leftover wisps of clouds from (what should be) the last of the rainstorms we have been getting here. It was an inspiration, a lodestar under the sun-star right before I got rid of any early-morning grumpiness by pounding into the asphalt and out of me.

Image

I can’t wait to do it again tomorrow.

Day Sixty

Encouragement

Today I ran in Gloucester after hanging out on Wingaersheek beach in Gloucester.

Image

Although it’s late and I have to get up early to run, I wanted to share how amazing it felt to get some encouragement today in my running. Someone paid me some pretty serious compliments about my running, fitness level, and the physical effects the exercise has had on my body , and it was awesome to hear someone go out of his way to tell me to keep running. There have been many others who have told me they read this blog and encouraged me to keep going. I want to keep these sentiments in the forefront of my mind, especially when watching others’ embark on their endeavors, running related or otherwise. What I have noticed about running so far, is that it is a contagious bug. People who I know who run and love it, somehow influence others to start running too, whether they mean to or not. I know the reason why I started toying with the idea of running was because of someone very close to me got out there and ran almost every day while working and in school full-time…

…So if anyone out there is thinking about lacing up and seeing how far they can go, I promise you, if you can do a little today, and you will do more tomorrow.

goodnight, Boston.

Two Months

For this city…

I can’t think of a better way to spend today than serve this city. Here are some local junior youth planting in their local community garden today in their housing complex:

Image

My mom came out from the suburbs to help us plant. After we got the seeds in the ground and the junior youth back home, we made an Eithopian food pit-stop at Blue Nile in JP. I went back to Chelmsford with her for the night. As soon as I go there, I put my running partner on his leash, and we ran against a backdrop of pink fluff in a pale, blue sky.

It’s late now, and I’ve already broken my promise to update as regularly as I supposed to, so hopefully my run tomorrow, in one of my favorite places in Massachusetts, will more than make-up for the ball I’ve dropped.

Goodnight, all.

Ooops

How Quickly We Forget

My promise to run and blog daily got sidetracked as I started a new job and new chapter of life. How quickly emotional resolutions give way to the comfort of doing what we want at our own convenience. I knew going into this that I was going to make a big commitment for no external “reward” in the traditional sense, but still, it seems the inward satisfaction and desire to do something positive are no match for the demands of all the things society tells me are more important than setting time aside to run and blog.

I have had great runs since I last wrote, and, personally, I am bummed I didn’t record them since I know there were moments I can’t quite remember now. I ran in a rainstorm in the South End not too long ago and I got lost. I kept telling myself something to keep running until I finally found my way, but I went to a long meeting right after the run, and I totally forgot what it was that I was telling myself for those miles. These blog posts are such moments of reflection for me that they really highlight how distracted I can get otherwise. 

The news crews have moved on, but I still keep those hurting and hurt in my mind when I walk through the city.

As I sat in traffic today I looked up to one of my favorite Boston landmarks:

Image

 

Tomorrow is going to be another day in city for movement and reflection. I plan on seizing that and keeping those spirits in mind that started this journey in the first place. Goodnight, Boston

Days Forty-Five and Forty-Six

Dehydration

It’s been over ninety degrees for three or four days now in Massachusetts. I thought I was being responsible by only running at night, but when I woke up dizzy and nauseous this morning and realized I barely went numero uno yesterday after drinking copious amounts of water, I knew I was dehydrated. Feeling my stomach turn as I walked around Bromley-Heath today for junior youth group just confirmed what I knew. I was hoping to do a longer run tonight, but I will be taking an unplanned break instead with some water and a book:

Image

FYI– If anyone doesn’t already know, the best cure for dehydration is salt-water with lemon. It’s pretty gross but it works every time.

Tomorrow is my first day of my big girl job. Hopefully with some rest and re-hydration, I’ll be good to go for a run after work. Goodnight, everyone.

Day Forty-Three and Forty-Four

Unplugged

I’ve been trying to stay as unplugged as possible recently. I turn on my phone when I need to communicate with someone and I’ve stayed off the computer. I’ve just been running with the dog, enjoying the weather, and generally existing. It seems to have had an effect on my perception. I was with my mom at one point today and I literally asked her if the trees looked greener this year. She informed me that, no, the neighborhood was always this green and the flowers always this bright this time of year. Anyone who knows me has probably noticed I can be a little preoccupied by my phone. But I am not going to let the colors escape me this season. 

It was 93 degrees today, so my running partner was not that thrilled about leaving his $10,000 Persian carpets to sweat on the asphalt:

Image

 

Last night on our run, the humid night air felt like a soft layer of cotton were pushing through, and today the colors just seemed to jump out at us (actually, Frankie is color blind). Both runs were beautiful. It felt so okay to be alone (plus no one saw me run into that mailbox… it was dark!!). Right now I am having a PJ party with my niece and nepjhew, and I couldn’t ask for a better ending to the day.

Keep cool, Massachusetts.

Days Thirty-Three, Four and Five

Questions of Travel

I am in Puerto Rico right now! Every time I take a trip I am reminded of the poem “Questions of Travel” By Elizabeth Bishop. The excitement of preparing for travel or vacation, and after the trip, the memory of the surreal sights and new experiences often overshadow the very real anxiety that can happen to any traveler. I love the repeated phrase in the poem, “Should we have stayed at home?”, and anxious run-on quality of the speaker’s voice.

On my own travels, there have been some anxiety-producing events. My travel companion and I parted ways, I had to find new accommodations on limited funds, my cell phone completely fell apart and no longer works… So either I am lonely in a new place with no money and no way to make phone calls, or I am on an adventure, being creative with my time, and I have no way of being disturbed. Definitely the latter. My dad told me one of the wisest things he has ever said to me. “Sometimes we travel to relax, and sometimes we travel to learn”.

Such amazing people I have met so far. I wish I could tell every story here. Although one thing I do want to mention, ladies, if you are ever travelling alone, check if there is a gay hotel in the area! I accidentally booked a gay hotel on the beach and hanging around the bar/restaurant is super fun because everyone is super friendly and no one is hitting on me!! I love this island so much.

To be so removed from Boston and yet still be within the U.S. makes me realize how big the world is. I heard inklings of some kind of kidnapping situations back home, but I didn’t look into it yet. If I was at home, I would have looked up every detail I could… but the local news isn’t as compelling from out here. I wonder what the perspective of people here was when the bombing happened. One Scottish guy tonight ask me if the manhunt was really as scary as it sounded. I didn’t know what to answer. “I still have a hard time going past the memorial”, was all I responded. I didn’t tell him it all made me want to run.

I’ve gotten to go on a couple runs in the past three days. The first run I went on was in Guarnica, along Playa Santa, the Caribbean Sea:

Image

Tonight I went for a great run in the Condado neighborhood in San Juan. Since my phone broke, I couldn’t take any pictures, but it was amazing. I had to wait until night since it is way too hot in the daytime for long runs for this New England gal. Because that neighborhood is very touristy, and is just hotel after hotel, a lot of people on vacations also run Ashford Avenue (where I was running). Every block I passed a runner. It was such a unique experience. I must have passed at least 30 runners. When I got back to the hotel, I threw my suit on as fast as possible and jumped right into the sea. Here’s a picture of the Atlantic I took before my phone broke:

Image

Tomorrow is another day of learning about myself as I navigate this adventure. I have a couple things I want to do– definitely hit the beach up, look for an old, mysterious Iranian Baha’i who has a rug shop somewhere in San Juan, and of course, run.

Good night, San Juan.

Days Thirty-One and Thirty-Two

Out with the old

Accepting that some part of your life is unhealthy is one step. Deciding to part with it for good is another. Sometimes it takes a little while for even the best decisions to feel right. 

Thank you to all my friends who have listened to me repeat the same fears, worries, and sob-stories over and over and haven’t judged me before I took this final step. Today, I (literally) ran to Target for some last minute things before my trip. Here is sunset at Suffolk Downs: Image

 

 

I feel so hopeful to be free from things that were holding me back. This is growth.