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The Boston Marathon Bombing: Staying Positive

I’ve never been to Boston, but just like any citizen of North America, I have my ties to city, and to the Boston Marathon.

Once upon a time, back in the 1980s, a young doctor delivered a baby to a happy couple. Through no fault of the doctor, the baby was born quite ugly. The new mother told the new grandmother: “Ma, I had the baby, but he’s ugly. He looks like an old Asian man.” That isn’t to say that old Asian men are ugly, because George Takei is a rock star. In this case, however, the baby was ugly. The doctor’s name was Jean Marmoreo, and the ugly baby’s name was me.

Dr. Jean Marmoreo wrote regular columns on women for The Globe and Mail and The National Post in Canada. The popularity of her columns led her to writing her book, The New Middle Ages: Women in Midlife. In 2005, Jean was ranked among the “100 Most Powerful Women in Canada”. As a doctor, she’s pretty awesome, I rate her 9/10. She lost a point on account of having cold hands sometimes, but hey, no one’s perfect!

What does this have to do with Boston, the marathon, and the bombs?

Jean founded JeansMarines, and trained hundreds of midlife women for the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C. The doctor has finished first in her age group among women running the Chicago Marathon, the Ottawa Marathon, and the Marine Corps Marathon, twice.

She broke records in Boston too. In 2009, 2010, and 2011, Jean placed first among women between the ages of 65 and 69 at the Boston Marathon, a feat no other woman has ever accomplished.

Jean must be 70 years old by now, but so what? As soon as I heard what happened at the 2013 Boston Marathon, I picked up my phone and called my doctor’s office. Jean was okay. And yes, she was at the marathon, and yes, she did finish the race.

I’m not even surprised.

Jean wasn’t my only connection to the Boston Marathon. Someone I used to ride with, scooterista Martha Palao is also an avid runner. I’ve seen pictures of her running on Facebook, and I’ve read about the distances she runs in her training. Despite having a decade or two on me, I’m fully aware that Martha could literally kick my butt. Martha was okay. And yes, she was at the marathon, and yes, she did finish the race.

Finally, I can’t even think of Massachusetts without mentioning MISSRIDER, Madeleine Velasquez. Madeleine was the woman we interviewed about her solo ride across the United States. She also wrote in about her ride from Massachusetts through to Panama. Did I mention she passed by Toronto, Canada on her trip down to Panama and we had a beer together on my birthday? MISSRIDER was not at the Boston Marathon. She was doing one of her favorite things: riding her motorcycle. This time she was on her way to North Carolina. She got there.

Back to the ugly baby, me…. In high school I was on the track and field team.  I can’t say I’ve been on a track or ran any kind of marathon ever since. I’m a motorcyclist. It’s a lifestyle for me. But even in my Biker Bunker I still recognize the importance of what happened in Boston. I feel for all those who suffered needlessly. I also see a lot of people on Facebook and Twitter who are staying positive. People who staying positive and shining bright in the face of a sad time.

Girlie motorcycle blogger Fuzzygalore said she would do a Run for Boston after work. Motorcycle journalist Kanishka Sonnadara just spilled the beans he got engaged. Rippen-Kitten, a Massachusetts resident and motorcycle blogger might have said it best: “Keeping it light today. Heavy heart, but we must move on and support those who need us.” She posted this picture:

As someone who lost his father/hero at 23 years old, the only advice I can give is don’t ignore what hurts you. Accept it. Learn to live with it. But don’t let it stop you from enjoying life. Smile. Life’s too short not to smile, and I bet you were an ugly baby too, so laugh! You might even have already Liked George Takei on Facebook. If you haven’t, maybe it’s something you should try. I wouldn’t be surprised if your doctor gets cold hands sometimes as well. You probably know someone who was affected by the marathon a lot more than you were, feel for them. You also probably know someone or know of someone like Jean, Martha, and Madeleine, who do some serious butt-kicking time and time again, celebrate them.

Accept what happened, feel for those who suffered and lost more than you, but don’t forget to smile, to laugh, to try something new, to enjoy life, and to celebrate the good things.

Adrian S.