Troy's Take: Not A Runnerâ€”But She Runs For Us
By: TROY CLARKSON, March 24, 2014
Amanda Ravens is not a runner. Just ask her. In fact, you can read her blog, imnotarunneruntiltoday.blogspot.com.
Amanda, however, now runs for a purpose. She runs for those who can’t.
Also known in our environs as the daughter of Falmouth Community Television executive director Deb Rogers, Amanda has inspired many with her courageous foray into running as a way to pay tribute to those impacted by the Boston Marathon bombing nearly a year ago. Here are some of her thoughts:
“On April 15, 2013, my life changed forever. I’m not going to sit here and recount the horrific events of that day or say that I had it worse or not as bad as the next person. All you need to know is that my colleagues, friends, husband and I were at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel when the second bomb went off directly across the street.
A few days after the bombing I went for a run to claim my car, which had been held under the Mandarin as part of the extensive investigation. At the time I was living in Boston and could have easily taken a cab, the T or even hitched a ride with a friend. I’m not sure what made me decide to strap on my shoes and run the 2+ miles to the hotel, but something deep inside made me do it. As I started to run I found myself tired, out of breath and disappointed in how out of shape I was; after all, I’m not a runner. However, I just kept running. I ran past the Science Museum, the Liberty Hotel, Massachusetts General Hospital, down Charles Street, through Boston Common, past Newbury Street and started to head down Boylston Street, which at the time was still mostly closed. I found myself stopped at what was the makeshift memorial and edge of the bombing crime scene. As I walked slowly to the memorial I silently pushed my way through the crowd of strangers until I couldn’t go any farther. I immediately knelt down and cried. I suddenly realized why I had been running: For those who no longer could.”
So now Amanda runs. And runs. And runs some more. As part of her personal tribute to those impacted by last year’s terrorism, Amanda received an invitational entry into next month’s Boston Marathon. What is sure to be an emotional day will be heightened by people like Amanda, who are using this tragedy, which united a city and unified a nation, to raise both awareness and funds. Amanda’s goal is to raise $5,000 for Spaulding Rehab’s “Race for Rehab” team. Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital treated, inspired, and cared for many of the marathon victims. Amanda works there and is running for those who can’t.
I chatted with Amanda’s mom, who has dedicated her career to the betterment of our community through open and transparent access to public television, at the Falmouth Education Foundation’s recent fundraiser at Bill Zammer’s Coonamessett Inn. Deb’s face was glowing with pride as she described her daughter’s efforts to make a difference through her running.
This is just one Falmouth connection to the day that changed us; there are many more. Amanda’s run for rehab can be supported by donating at this link:
As of last Saturday, Amanda’s training has her almost to her goal. She posted recently that, “There is no better feeling than pushing your body to limits that you never thought were possible. Today I successfully ran 18 miles from Hopkinton to Newton.”
What a story of personal success. What a story of pushing her own limits solely for the benefit of others. Thanks, Amanda, for your selfless actions and for once again proving that we are a people who rise, not cower, in the face of terror.
(Troy Clarkson is a former Falmouth selectman who writes a weekly column for The Falmouth Enterprise. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @TroyClarkson59.)