Today marks the one year anniversary of the Boston 2013 Marathon bombings. All of us at Forty Winks are spending time today thinking about those whose lives were taken from them last year, and those who were injured in such a senseless act of violence.
Our spirits are lifted, however, as we think about this coming Monday and the joy we will feel on one of the best days of the year in Boston. A day to celebrate people who dedicate their bodies and minds to accomplish an incredible feat.
I am lucky to have four strong, wonderful women in my life who will be running the marathon this year. They are friends of mine from my martial arts training at Redline Fight Sports, and let me tell you… they can kick butt AND run like the wind. Their motivation inspires me endlessly.
Last year, as part of a Boston custom that will no longer be allowed due to security restrictions, I jumped into the race with my friend Jen for the last three miles until we were turned away at the half mile mark and got news of the bombing. The pictures of us before that moment capture the joy we felt as Jen approached the last leg of the race. My silly costume represented the fusion of the runner, fighter, and beautiful woman Jen is. I love these pictures because they show the true spirit of the Boston marathon.
Jen ran the marathon last year to raise money for a fantastic charity called Dream Big!, a non-profit organization that provides girls in low-income neighborhoods with athletic equipment so they can participate in after-school sports. And she’s running again this year!!! As those of you who enjoy any kind of exercise can surely understand, being active is a wonderful escape from life’s troubles. Jen has been a swimmer since she was a little girl (she even has a beautiful mermaid tattoo she designed herself!) and wants to give other girls the opportunity to get strong through sports, as she has done.
I will be cheering Jen on from the sidelines this year with all my heart and soul! I can’t join her in the race but I, of course, will be giving her a sports bra to be close to her heart Check out this fabulous interview and article about Jen in the Boston Herald! and consider making a contribution to Dream Big! on her Razoo site.
Looking for other ways to contribute?
Nurse practitioner and runner extraordinaire Tara Jennings is fundraising for Mass General Hospital Pediatric Oncology Program.
Melissa Adams is a scientist completing her PhD at Harvard and training at Redline while fundraising for the MSPCA in honor of her rabbit: Lady BunBun (pictured above).
And the fabulous Danielle Rieck of Redline Fight Sports is running with the Mass Fallen Heroes Team to help families of veterans.
Thank you for supporting my friends! And thanks for all the love you sent our way on this day last year. To quote Martin Richards, 8-year-old marathon victim:
NO MORE HURTING PEOPLE.
Ari & the Forty Winks gals