On that fateful Monday when the Boston Marathon was attacked (I'm seriously still bothered by that, no one messes with the Boston Marathon), I was apparently bummed out to the point that I was visually displaying it at work. A handful of my teammates asked if I was OK, and one even floated the idea of taking the afternoon off. I thought it was pretty cool that my teammates not only know me well enough to realize how much I care about the sanctity of the Boston Marathon, but also genuinely care about me.
The next day, out for my usual morning run, I started coming up with an idea: what if my teammates could participate in a marathon with me, or at least experience one? I really wanted them to fully know what the marathon is all about, and see the good side of it, the way it challenges us, brings out the best in us, and how marathoners respond to challenges with persistence and determination. Not only that, but joining in on a marathon would be the perfect message and response in the wake of someone attacking Boston: no matter what happens, very much in the marathon spirit, keep running!
So for our next team meeting, the very next day, I put together a short presentation that was essentially a combination of my "For Boston" post and the two paragraphs you just read. Then mentioned that the San Francisco Marathon's registration is still open, and they have a marathon, half-marathon, 5K, and progressive marathon as options. Of course, I had to explain what a progressive marathon is, but I sold that hard, mentioning that just about anyone can jog or walk 23.1 miles in the span of two months, and just about anyone can jog or walk a 5K on race day. Do that, and you get a finisher's T-shirt and medal just like everyone else, and you get to be a part of the San Francisco Marathon.
I concluded the presentation with what I presented as our team mantra:
"For Boston, I will."
What surprised me was how receptive everyone was. They friggin' applauded!! (that rarely happens for anything in our weekly meetings). A couple signed up for the half marathon, but a ton of people seemed interested in the progressive marathon. Others said they'd come out and volunteer or cheer us on. The whole team just had the brightest looks walking out of that meeting. I was, well, I was touched. It meant something to me to see it mean something to them.
So now we're gonna have a handful of Googlers running in the San Francisco Marathon with me. Awesome.
For Boston, I will.