A to Z Challenge: Day Fourteen – “N”

‘N’ is for ‘Numbers’.

I had little understanding of how much I would be affected by watching a ballgame at Fenway Park. This event was on Richard’s Bucket List, and I was the ‘Plus One.’ When we walked out of the stadium at the end of Saturday’s game, I was deeply moved. The experience was much more ‘full-on’ than I had anticipated. The excitement in the air was palpable.  Strangers chatted together easily. There was a strong feeling of cohesion and unity. It didn’t hurt that the Red Sox won 10 -3.

Numbers

 

When leaving the Stadium, I was struck by a framed t-shirt bearing the number ‘617,’ and the words ‘Boston Strong.’ ‘617’ is the main area code for Boston. The shirt is a symbol of the solemn solidarity that Bostonians demonstrated in the face of the horrific marathon bombing in their city in 2013.

That shirt also reminded me of my mixed emotion. Our youngest son is running in the Boston Marathon today. His race number is 3117. I am thrilled to watch him compete in such a prestigious event. But just as my pride is high, so is my ‘parental radar.’  I have that maternal tug of worry for the physical and emotional demands running 42.195 kilometers (26.219 miles) takes, especially in the unseasonably cold and wet weather. I am proud of his tenacity in accepting this challenge. I am grateful to witness the generosity of this city in supporting these runners, as well as never forgetting the victims and survivors of the 2013 tragedy. I am humbled by the resiliency and determination of all marathon participants, and the city that hosts them, in moving forward with both strength and compassion.

Once again, the words that ended up on this page are not what I had planned to put down. Writing has a powerful way of getting straight to the core and revealing what is weighing on our hearts, and our minds.

Good luck to Creighton, and the 30,000 others competing with him at today’s marathon. Please join me in sending them our warm thoughts and good wishes. Check back tomorrow for photos and updates.

marathon
Pre-race day rituals. Top Left: Checking out the finish line. Top Right: Carbohydrate loading at lunch. Bottom. Official Marathon Pasta Dinner. If Creighton, and teammate, Jia Min, look cold, they were. We had just stood in-line in the freezing rain and wind for over 45 minutes. Sadly, the weather forecast for tomorrow is not any better!

50 Replies to “A to Z Challenge: Day Fourteen – “N””

  1. Good luck Creighton! Hope it is not too taxing on the body in the wet cold weather! I am not a baseball fan….but they say! “ it is amazing energy and fun to go to the game”. Sounds like it was….

    Like

  2. Wonderful post, Donna. I love it when writing takes you to places you didn’t intend to go. This was heartfelt and open – sharing the emotions of your Boston trip. The weather is a low point for today. We have freezing rain in Maine this morning – I hope it is better in Boston. I wish the best for Creighton today. It is so exciting he is participating but oh so demanding. Lovely that you can be there for him.

    Like

  3. I’m in complete agreement with Molly, Donna. I appreciate you sharing your mixed emotions of pride and worry as you anticipate Creighton’s race today. Good thoughts to Creighton, the other runners, and to you that you’ll all have a great and inspiring day.

    Like

  4. I’ve been to a game at Fenway Park. It was cold, the number on the thermometer being under 50.

    I agree about the way in which writing allows you to process your thoughts, in a way you never thought of until you started writing. But only those who write seem to understand this. I feel sorry for the rest.

    Like

  5. What a great post Donna, your writing takes you to unexpected places and this allows us to join you on the journey. Good luck for the marathon runner, your parental radar will be working overtime!

    Like

  6. By my calculations, your son has been running for about 44 minutes as I am writing this. I hope his body temperature has warmed up to a comfortable level. I bet the spectators will be tempted to jog in place as they watch. Brrrrrr. I’ve been to Boston but never to Fenway nor have I witnessed that famous marathon. I’m enjoying both experiences through your writing.

    Like

    1. Hi, Janis – You are right – there was much ‘running on the spot’ and ‘ducking for cover’ by the spectators. If you ever find yourself in Boston on Patriot’s Day, I highly recommend watching the marathon (hopefully in sunny weather). Taking in a ballgame at Fenway is also a wonderful Boston experience! Thank you for staying tuned. I greatly appreciate it.

      Like

  7. Good luck Creighton and all running in this prestigious race in spite of the weather. Cheering you on from this side of the world! I’m sure I’ll be able to access coverage of it on TV and will look out for you all! I’ve got your number …

    Like

    1. Hi, Susan – We felt your cheering from the other side of the world, and it helped. Unfortunately, Creighton had his bib number covered so you would have missed him on TV. Stay tuned tomorrow for pictures, and update, of the completed race!

      Like

  8. As I sit here looking out on snow and sleet and just texted my Monday walk date “no way today”… I am more amazed at you standing out there to watch the runners! I hope the movement keeps him warm and able to complete the run … and the excitement keeps you from freezing at least. I’ve never been a runner, but married one and that brought a lot of running friends. Finishing a marathon is an amazing accomplishment (most of my friends say those running days are now past them!).

    Love, love, love how your building in many references to your letter of the day! So much fun to read.

    Like

    1. Hi, Pat – It definitely was cold out there today. As you predicted, the excitement did help runners and viewers to persevere. Thank you for your kind words about my letter of the day references. I must admit, it’s becoming addictive!

      Like

  9. Baseball games are the best! We love our Giants and go whenever we can get good, cheap tickets – not that often. The atmosphere at the game is electric sometimes. Hope the marathon went well for your son. I can understand the worry!

    Like

  10. Hi Donna – Glad you had a good time at the ball game. I hope the marathon went well for your son today. To qualify for the Boston marathon is already a big accomplishment. Enjoy a warm and wonderful post-race celebration!

    Like

  11. I can’t believe the Boston Marathon was in 2013 it only seems like yesterday. Good luck to Creighton. Having run a marathon (and maybe considering one more), I know the time and effort that goes into training and then facing the challenge of the race. Thanks for sharing and I’m sure he will do well.

    Like

    1. Hi, Sue – Yes, marathon training is massive. But Creighton loves it, and the thrill of the race makes it all worth-while for him. He definitely did not inherit this passion from his mother….although I do love cheering the marathoners on from the sidelines! 🙂 I am very impressed by all who run and show this incredible endurance.

      Like

  12. Wow – congrats to your son for even qualifying for the race! I’ve been to Fenway Park once to see the Boston Red Sox play. I was chaperoning our church youth choir and we actually sang the National Anthem on the field. They allowed the parents to sing with the youth! It was a really cool experience.

    Like

  13. I was thinking about you both and your son today. Patriot’s Day, Boston Marathon Day. And, of course, I thought about the horrible events of 2013. I didn’t want to bring that up in a comment pre-game. I hope all went well today, despite the crappy weather. No matter how well Craighton did, he deserves a lot of respect and congrats for joining!

    Like

  14. Congratulations to Creighton on his run! My oldest son has completed several marathons now, and invited me to come and watch his first one several years ago. He did well and was quite happy with his performance, but I did see what a toll it can take on a person’s body, and he was physically ill immediately after crossing the finish line. He was much better after a nap and some nourishment, and I was privileged to drive us the several hours home afterwards while he napped and his poor body started the recuperation process. I don’t believe that I will ever be up to running a marathon, but I do greatly admire those who take the time and effort to train and meet such a lofty goal.

    Like

    1. Hi, Marcy – Your comment completely resonates with me. Experiencing a first marathon of loved one is an eye-opening experience. As I mentioned on another comment (and as you undoubtedly know), running makes most marathoners feel alive in a way that nothing else quite does. I join you in this complete awe and admiration.

      Like

  15. I love those plastic bags on your feet. Reminds me of my childhood when my mother used to put them on our feet before we went out to play in the snow!

    Like

  16. I always seem to be reading posts out of order. I now know that Creighton finished well in spite of the extremely ugly weather conditions.

    Spectating in any weather is not easy, so give yourselves extra points for being there when the going got tough!

    Like

    1. Hi, Joanne – The great thing about blog posts is that they can (usually) be read in any order. I greatly appreciate you stopping by in any order that you like. Thanks for your kind words about the race, and about the die-hard spectators. Although the going was tough, it was wonderful wandering Boston the next day and seeing runners of all types proudly displaying their well-earned medals!

      Like

  17. hmmm – my comment seems to have disappeared. Maybe I’m being chastised for reading posts out of order again.

    I now know that Creighton finished well in his race – in spite of the bitter weather conditions.
    However, I also know that spectating isn’t easy, and so I award you bonus points for being there when the going got tough!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s