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What started as a little experiment in blogging has evolved into my renewed love for writing the raw, gritty truth. Running has always had so many parallels to life's ups and downs. As a new cancer survivor/fighter, running and writing has continued to be there for me in my quest to always move forward, always try to be better than yesterday. Find me: http://www.curetoday.com/community/kate or on facebook: running, cancer, and everything in between or on twitter: runliftbreathe

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Boston: A Story of Compassion

To steal a line from my upmost favorite movie of all times..."Love, actually is, all around"...This has never been truer for me than at the Boston Marathon...
As a spectator in the past, I was aware of the energy and excitment...as a runner, I experienced the love & compassion...there are good, good people...you just have to stop and look around...love is really all around....
Of all the stories I could tell of my first experience at the Boston Marathon as a runner...the most powerful and most emotional one happened well after I had crossed the finish line.
The weather was a high 30's, low 40's...I had been poured on in my coral while I was waiting to start...the rain continued along the route from Hopkinton to Boston. I rung my shirt out at each water stop...by the time we hit the city...the winds had really set in.
When you finally cross the finish line of a marathon....and stop...that's when everything starts...your body temperature drops,  your hip flexors start firing...if you haven't had any cramping yet...you will, somewhere...the nauseau sets in...you need liquid, salt, anthing to try to get the body back in balance...and as you are going through this...you are desparately searching for your person...your family...the people who will help carry you to the car so to speak or sometimes quite literally...
I stood out at that family meeting area for B (as in Beland) for over 30 minutes...the wind was whipping my post finish blanket around...two separate people stopped to try and help me, and call my people...noone answered their phone. A man even wrapped me in his coat until his person finished...I assured him I was okay & gave him his coat for his wife...& proceeded to try and find our 2nd back up meeting area. The only minor problem was that now I was violently shaking & began to feel a little disorientated...all I could see was tall, massive sky scrapers...and strangers everywhere...I made it over to the wall of one of the buildings to hover against from the wind with tears streaming down my face...
Another woman must have noticed me & asked me if I was okay...all I could mutter was Boston Common (that's where our 2nd meeting place was)....I remember the officer coming over & I insisted that no I didn't need a wheelchair or medical help...that I just needed someone to point me which direction to go...
The officer was on security duty of the family area...He cursed that he wished he had his cruiser otherwise he'd drive me over right then and there. Instead, he did what he could and he guided me away from the area, we crossed some traffic and he pointed straight away to the Common...there 3 people stood outside their hotel and I remember them talking with the cop & then, taking over.
I don't remember their names...two of them were a couple from DC...the man was suppose to run the marathon but was sidelined because of a vein thrombosis...they joked and made light of this, something about 6 feet under...the 3rd person was their friend from Vermont....
They wrapped me in coats, & wrapped their arms on both sides of me...walking me along the city blocks to the common. They called my husband...got me into a parking kiosk/shelter...one rubbed my quads the other was rubbing my hands and fingers...while the 3rd, told jokes & kept trying to make me drink water.
I  know tears continued to flow down my face...but they are tears of gratitude...here when I couldn't find my family to help me...three complete strangers became that...they recognized I was in trouble, they came to my need...all I could do was thank them when my husband finally came to the spot they had directed him to over the phone....they gave me huge hugs and kisses on the cheek & told me congratulations...and then, they were gone.
I can't even remember their names....and I'm not sure I would recognize them if I saw them....but that moment, they were my family...
Boston is such a special event...there are so many acts of love, kindness and compassion along the way...every person is there with one intent...to support someone...I'll never forget that feeling...that feeling that there is so, so much good in the world...so much love...all it takes is one samll act of kindness.
I will never forget my Boston family...they reminded me that love actually is all around...and all it takes is one simple act of compassion...

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