Boston Marathon April 2001 – you were my very first marathon. Your city showed me the joy of running….
The Health and Fitness Expo – yes, I really did need my newest piece of running gear…did I even own anything besides running gear at this point? Never was I more excited and nervous than then setting out that morning on the athlete buses heading towards the Athlete’s Village in Hopkinton.
Running through the towns, the mile markers – pure joy. Note to self – high fiving each and every person I see is probably not good for saving my energy ☺
When I did tire at Mile 24 (Heartbreak Hill = no joke)- a stranger in the crowd – looked me right in the eye and told me to “dance my way to the Finish Line”. Words to live by. As I continued, I heard her cheering loudly for me (she had read my name that was oh so neatly ironed onto my shirt). She sounded like she knew me forever and I heard her voice cheering until it faded in the distance – I set out towards Copley with a lot more pep in my step.
As I turned onto Boylston and ran towards the finish, the memories from my time in Boston – law school, my first job at a sports agency in Prudential Tower and all the great friends flashed in front of me. What an amazing city to spend seven years. As much as I now love living back in my hometown of NYC – I have fantastic memories from my time in Massachusetts.
The Finish Line is a place where dreams and hopes are realized. It is a place where you find out what you are truly made of. The crowd – each and every person – although a blur – carries you to the finish. Seeing family and friends who were with you through all the training. Everyone is One on the day of a marathon. The cheers, smiles and pure happiness are not something that can be put into words. My heart hurts that such a wonderful day for the runners and spectators ended so tragically on Monday.
As I crossed the Finish Line –I was doing something that never in a million years did I think I could accomplish. Months of training, 26.2 miles of running and accomplishing a goal that even I wondered if I could accomplish. I haven’t stopped running since.
Many miles, 12 marathons and years later – I have the privilege of working in a sport that I love. We have amazing customers who take us on their journeys every day – the pictures, the emails, the tweets, the posts – you all make us smile each and every day.
Many people ask where the name Sparkly Soul came from. Our name comes from that moment when you wonder if you can do something – really wonder if you can do something. Whether that is at Mile 24 of a marathon, a new job, exams, juggling a million things, just trying to get through your day, a competition, a sporting event, trying to be the best parent/spouse/child/sibling/friend that you can be, doing something that you are scared of – whatever it may be. To me, finding your soul is the very moment when you gather your inner strength and realize you are doing just what you set out to do. The “I did it” moment when you sparkle.
Thank you Boston – you started me on my own path of Sparkle and Soul. Our hearts hurt and are heavy for you. As I am about to unlace my sneakers from an after work run in Central Park – I think about what happened on Monday. As a runner – I ran with and for all of you tonight Boston. Know that we support you and our hearts are heavy for you.