Run for Your Life

I know I haven't been posting much lately. Sorry. Work has been busy with the end of our concert season. Also I'm just very worn out with looking for a new apartment and trying to find a part-time job. Asking people for things is, lets just say, not a skill of mine. I find it extraordinarily stressful so I'm just generally not in a good mood. It will all work itself out soon, but I'll be happier when its settled. Knowing it will be settled won't do much for me. The part-time job thing really is weighing on me. I know I need to, and I don't mind working retail though something nicer would be, well, nice. The easiest jobs to find, though, I'm not going to consider. Telemarketing and food service are non-starters for me, though I might get desperate and apply at Starbucks just because they seem to always be hiring and it could be much worse. I don't hate food service, but I know how draining it is. Telemarketing, I hate. Like I said above, I hate asking people for things. I did telemarketing for a week as a temp 4 years ago. Made me sick every night and I did an awful job.

Anyway, there is something I've been meaning to post since Monday. You see, Monday was what we here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts call Patriot's Day. Do other states have state holidays? Massachusetts has two of them. One isn't a big deal because no one really acknowledges it except the state (St. Patrick's Day is actually a legal holiday in MA; and we wonder where we got our reputation), but not Patriot's Day. Patriot's Day actually forces a change in Tax Filing many years since it falls near tax day. The City of Boston basically shuts down (I had to work, but it wasn't very productive since most everyone else was closed) and parties in honor of the Boston Marathon.

As you might guess, Patriot's Day's true origin lies in the American Revolution. It honors the first skirmishes between Colonials and British soldiers at Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775. Its now a Monday holiday but this year it actually fell on the real anniversery. Not that anyone really cares about this anymore. (Well, except the Revolutionary War re-enactors) Now, its just Marathon Monday. The biggest sports event in Boston, and that's saying a lot considering the devotion Boston holds for the Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins, and Super Bowl Champion Patriots. Now, every year, some sports freaks start whining about how they don't get the Marathon. But the reasons they don't get it is the same reason I love it and why it draws huge crowds stretched out across 26 miles every year.

I've been lucky to see the Marathon live for each of the last 8 years. At least some part of it. I saw the Elites run through 4 of the 8 years, too, though a couple I only got out after work 3 hours after the leaders ran through and once I only watched it from my bedroom window. Nevertheless, its something I love. Part of it is the tradition. This was the 108th race. And because it is held on Patriot's Day, crowd participation has long been encouraged among all people. I don't get the feeling other cities have marathons anywhere near as iconic. The Marathon isn't a disruption. It isn't something to ignore (not that I think anyone could). Its something that brings everyone out. But more than that, its a sporting event where no one is rooting against anyone. Boston sports fans are infamously bitter and mean-spirited, which makes the Marathon all the better. This confuses some of those bitter fans, who don't know why they should care if they aren't rooting for someone who might win and if they don't understand why they should care about the Kenyans who've dominated the race in recent years.

Well, for starters, the fact that the Kenyans have so emphatically embraced the Boston Marathon. They LOVE us in Kenya. Really, the Boston Marathon is not a perfect Marathon, but the Kenyan runners have completely made it their own. I'm not entirely sure why, but there is no reason for Bostonians not to love the Kenyans right back and root for them. But aside from that, the race is all about cheering everyone. That's why going there 3 hours after the winner passed by isn't an excercise in futility. Its all part of the fun. You cheer on these people who've already run 20+ miles. On Monday, I saw the race from Kenmore Square which is about a mile away from the finish line. At this point, the runners are almost home. Easy for us to know, not so easy when you've run 25 miles already. That's where the crowd comes in. Even hours after the important stuff, the streets are lined with people cheering on everyone who passes by. These aren't athletes seen from the Upper Decks in Fenway Park. They aren't ball-players making millions (not that I have a problem with sports salaries). They are just regular folks here to compete and they are just a foot away. You just cheer. You encourage them. By name when possible, or at least by t-shirt. Everyone is in good spirits, everyone is there to have a good time. Its just a great thing to see and the kind of thing you really need to see for yourself. One of the reasons I love living in the city.

Well, except that I don't really live in the city anymore, but that's neither her nor there.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.