Being a mother of three young children and a physician in a busy inner city hospital, walking is not my natural inclination. Running and running fast (hence the fracture) is the pace I like. But being forced to a walk was the greatest gift I could have imagined.
As Bostonians we took back our city, we ran to heal and move forward. We did not run as men or women, Christians or Muslims, elites or Average Joes. We ran as a city, we ran as a collective of humanity in its finest hour.
A weight has been lifted -- one I never knew I was carrying. My legs cry in pain every time I move, but my heart is lighter. The Boston Marathon hurt me last year. But that same great race made me stronger and gave me back my finish line. And with it, a new PR of 3:42:34.
We need stories like these--particularly in times of pain and anguish--to remind us of our capacity for goodness. While life is marred by acts of human cruelty and violence, there are also countless people engaged daily in deeds of kindness.
Just when you start to feel comfortable in the race, there always seems to be a hill at around somewhere between mile 18 and 22, that forces you to question why you ever thought running a marathon was a good idea.
Not many people can run like Meb, but our youth can all learn to reach for one another as fellow citizens and friends, and resist the evil that we hope has now been purged from the city of Boston on a sunny Patriot's Day.
There's a saying in Nichiren Buddhism that "Winter Always Turns to Spring." After this brutally cold, long winter, as the first anniversary of the Marathon Bombings drew near, there was evidence of the truth in that saying.
Ever since I started running I've made it a point to say "thank you" to every course marshal that points me in the right direction, volunteer that hands me a glass of cool water, spectator that cheers for me, and police officer that allows me safe passage through an intersection.
A million spectators and 36,000 runners Monday turned the page and brought some closure to this terrible tragedy which lives on in our hearts and souls and comes forth through our tears and broken voices.
A marathon proves that the world is your oyster; that your dreams are limitless; that you can do anything you put your mind to; that mind always conquers matter. This is especially the case for female runners Bobbi Gibb and Kathrine Switzer.