Following the week that was in Boston, and you all know the week I am talking about, the week when life changed for everyone living in Boston. The week where a lot of people, had a lot of questions; questions which still have yet to be answered. I too have these questions, and still want answers, but above all else, this week made me ask myself who am I?
The thing is I feel personally attacked. I feel like they were taking aim at me personally. I wasn’t at the finish line of the marathon, but I still feel like it was a personal attack. I am sure that many Bostonians share that feeling. But I am not a Bostonian. Who am I?
I was born in London, England, and in 2006 I ran and completed the London Marathon. I always wanted to run a marathon, and when I finally did it, I am pretty sure that the first words out of my mouth were a promise “never again”. But I did it, and I did it with no explosions or terror attacks, and no fear of these things ever happening. YOU took that away from everyone like me, everyone who has the dream to run in a marathon. Who am I? I am a marathoner, and YOU attacked me!
When I ran the London marathon, I ran for charity, and raised over $1500. I finished the London Marathon in just under 4 hours, surrounded by other runners who were running for charity. When the clock read 4:09 in London in 2006, there were hundreds of people crossing the finish line, all with smiles on their faces, pride in their eyes, and sweat dripping off their brow. In Boston this year, YOU took that away from people like me. You stopped people from crossing that finish line…for now. I am a marathoner, and YOU attacked me, but I am a marathoner. I choose to run 26.2 miles, as fast as I can. I choose to put myself through hours of training, months before the actual marathon. YOU can’t stop me. But I wasn’t running in the Boston Marathon, and remember I said “never again”. Well, thanks to YOU, “never again” is one promise I am happy to break. But I am not just a marathoner.
I might not be a Bostonian, but I do live in Boston. I work in Boston, I teach in Boston, I run in Boston. I was in Boston on Marathon Monday. I was in Boston on Patriots Day. You chose to make whatever statement you wanted to make in Boston. In my heart, I am a proud Boston Inhabitant. Who am I? I am a Boston Inhabitant, and YOU attacked me!
When I moved to Boston in 2008, I was already a Red Sox fan, my Wife (A true Bostonian) saw to that. I fell in love with my wife, and then I fell in love with the City of Boston, MY CITY. I love Boston! My favorite place in Boston is Fenway Park, the home of my beloved Red Sox. That’s where I was on Marathon Monday. I was in MY CITY, watching MY Red Sox. As Mike Napoli hit a walk off double of the Green Monster, My wife and I, along with 38000 other members of Red Sox Nation, left Fenway with a huge smile on our faces. My wife said to me “shall we go and watch the marathoners finish”, and for once I said “no” to my wife. We went to get some lunch, and then we saw the breaking news runner on the TV screens. It couldn’t be…but it was. Someone had attacked MY CITY. Who am I? I guess I am a Bostonian, an English Bostonian, and YOU attacked me!
The thing is, you didn’t attack me, you don’t even know who you attacked. You have no idea what you have done. You have awoken a beast - a proud and passionate Bostonian beast. Boston was strong way before YOU came along, and now, despite the horror that YOU inflicted, this city, MY CITY has emerged out of the shadows, and we are standing up tall, we are shouting from the roof tops, and most importantly for me, WE ARE RUNNING! I will see everyone at a finish line. Thanks for reading!