As you may have noticed on Instagram, I’ve been spending the past few weeks with Jozy in Boston, our new home! Jozy signed with the New England Revolution (go, Revs!!!!) shortly after our wedding and I’m excited to support him on this next chapter in his soccer career. I’m about to get pretty introspective here for a moment, so bear with me. It is pretty wild to take a step back and think about how full circle life can be. My ties to Boston began even before I was born. My mom attended Boston University for her undergraduate studies and, as I’ve previously written about here, was the first All-American in the history of Boston University’s women’s swimming program and the first ever African American female swimmer to be named a NCAA first-team Division 1 All-American. She won 80 consecutive dual meets in her college career and was inducted into Boston University’s Hall of Fame when I was a newborn baby. But, her Boston story didn’t stop after graduation! My mom attended Harvard University for graduate school and earned her Masters’ Degree in psychology while also serving as the Assistant Coach of the Women’s Swimming Team. My dad also knew a thing or two about Boston. He was drafted by the New England Patriots in the first round of the 1988 NFL Draft and was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1988. Suffice it to say, I have some Boston in me, and it is really special that our first stop as a married couple brings me back to a city with so much history for my family.
The tennis season is in full swing, and thankfully I was able to structure my current training block to take place in Boston, so I’ve spent the mornings getting ready for European clay court season and the afternoons unpacking and organizing our new house. I am patiently waiting for Clea and Joanna from The Home Edit to slide into my DMs and hire me as their next organizer, so I’ll use this Bulletin article as my manifestation, okay?
I’ll share more about our Boston adventures in detail over the coming months, but I needed to immediately put the metaphorical pen to paper to tell you about my incredible day at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday. I don’t think there could have been a better initiation to Boston than attending the Boston Marathon on Patriots’ Day.
To set the scene for my subscribers who may not be as familiar with this storied event, I read up on some fun facts while Ubering to the finish line. The Boston Marathon is the oldest annual marathon in the world. It began in 1897 following the first marathon competition in the 1896 Summer Olympics. The Boston Marathon is held on the third Monday in April, which coincides with Patriots’ Day. This holiday commemorates the start of the Revolutionary War, and specifically the battles at Lexington and Concord. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Boston Marathon was held virtually in 2020 and the 2021 event was rescheduled to October, so the runners and spectators alike were fully ready to return to this Patriots’ Day tradition and the mood was jubilant.
This year’s marathon represented the 50th anniversary of women officially being allowed to enter the race. Of course, before 1972 there were trailblazing pioneers like Bobbi Gibb, Sara Mae Berman, Elaine Pederson, and Kathrine Switzer who paved the way for women to officially be allowed marathon entry in the spring of 1972. All eight women who started the 1972 race finished it, and five of those “Original Eight” women were present on Monday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of this milestone. With so much conversation in sports these days about equality and representation, I loved how straightforward the concept of a marathon is - everyone is on the same course and gets to the finish line in their own way. I was so inspired by the determination of the Para Division athletes and was reminded of words I heard Amanda Kloots say on her Instagram:
As a professional athlete, I’ve had the immense honor of competing in some of the most historic sporting events across the world - I’ve played on Centre Court at Wimbledon, I’ve won the U.S. Open, I’ve represented my country at the Olympics. The atmosphere at the Boston Marathon was truly unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. Growing up, my mom told me about how inspiring and powerful it is to be a spectator at the Boston Marathon, but I really wasn’t prepared for the emotions of the day we had. Even though every participant was competing in their own race, there was such a feeling of camaraderie and shared sense of purpose from every participant and every spectator. I was totally moved reading all of the signs and hearing the encouraging words being cheered throughout the streets. Everyone present was on the same team and working towards the same goal. It was beautiful. I remember watching the news and witnessing the horrible tragedy of the 2013 bombings. Standing at the finish line this year and watching the triumph and range of human emotion, I was overwhelmed with emotion thinking about what that day must have been like and was so inspired by the resilience to continue on and turn tragedy into triumph. The world has endured so much collective trauma since March 2020, and having so many people together and celebrating a common victory felt like that jolt of energy we’ve all been desperately searching to recover.
I wanted to wrap up this article with some life lessons that the Boston Marathon reinforced for me.
We can do hard things.
Those hard things are made easier together.
It feels really good to root for other people’s successes.
You never know what other people are going through, so be kind.
Tonight, I’m off to the Celtics game to keep my Boston sports initiation going. Let’s go, C’s!