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Sorry for the blatant profanity – but how else to describe what happened yesterday?

Like so many of you reading, I remember where I was when 9/11 went down.  I was actually in my microbiology lab class either fumbling with a bunsen burner or observing some paramecium colony under the microscope (I can’t remember which) when my professor walked in from the back room and said, “a plane has hit the World Trade Center.”

My lab partner, Connie, who was originally from Long Island and whose brother worked in the World Trade Center immediately jumped out of her seat in a panicked state and sprinted out of the room.  Not long afterwards the rest of the class – most of which were also from the NYC area – excused themselves from class in an effort to get hold of family members or friends to make sure that they were alright.

As it turned out: Connie’s brother made it out of the building safely.  Unfortunately, we all know that that wasn’t the case for so many others.

It was a sad day for all of us. It was a day that will forever be singed in our minds.  It fucking sucked.

Much like yesterday did.  But unlike the events of 9/11 (which I’m not downplaying in the least), what happened yesterday hit me in the stomach a tad harder because it took place in my back yard.  Well, two-miles from apartment, but still.

Thankfully, I wasn’t anywhere near the chaos. I was at Cressey Performance – roughly 20 miles west of Boston – when I happened to walk into the main office area and Pete just said, “dude, shit is going down in the city.  A few bombs went off near the finish line of the marathon.”

Knowing Lisa took the day off from work because her brother (of all days) was in town visiting from Texas, and knowing that the two of them had made plans to walk around the city to take in the sights and sounds of the marathon, I immediately grabbed my phone to make sure that she was alright.

She was.  In fact, she was at home the entire time.

I had a few friends who were in the vicinity of the blast(s), but again, no one I know on a first-hand basis was injured.

But that doesn’t mean I’m still not very disheartened and saddened by what happened.

Like everyone else part of me feels the fear and sadness, which makes sense.  But a larger part of me is also pissed as hell.  I guess the best way I can describe it is when someone makes fun of one of your siblings and you want nothing more than to rip that person’s head off.

I’m not originally from Boston, but in the almost seven years that I’ve called it “home,” where I’ve watched countless games at Fenway, spent endless hours reading in Boston Common, ate my fair share of cannolis in the North End, and walked the very sidewalks on Boylston St. where all the madness happened…..I’ve fallen in love with it.

And the fact that this happened so close infuriates me to no end.

I know I’m not alone.  I know the entire country is just as mad.

More importantly, though, I can’t even begin to articulate how proud  and in awe I am of the random strangers and first repsonders who took it upon themselves to risk their own lives to help others in need.

By now we’ve all heard of the harrowing stories of people running TOWARDS the blasts to help.  Maybe even more telling are the stories that circulated of runners themselves streamlining it from the finish line straight to the hospitals so that they could donate blood on the spot.


I think actor and comedian Patton Oswalt might have stated it best in his Facebook status that has since gone viral:

I don’t know what’s going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths. But here’s what I DO know. If it’s one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet.

So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, “The good outnumber you, and we always will.”

You can read the entire passage HERE.

Sometimes, maybe even more than we’d like, people go out of their way to suck.  But we can’t forget that the good far outweigh the bad.

Thanks for all the well-wishes and comments that people have sent my way the past 24 hours.  We’re all in this together, and it’s my hope we’ll all come through this a little bit stronger.

Did what you just read make your day? Ruin it? Either way, you should share it with your friends and/or comment below.

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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

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Comments for This Entry

  • Brent Holm

    Yeah, this stuff is so damn sad. An 8 year old boy died from the blast. I don't even try to understand some people anymore. The bottom line is there is and always will be pure evil in this world and I wish I could honestly say otherwise. The good will always far outnumber the bad, the bad will never win in the end, but unfortunately senseless bullshit like this will always be a part of our society. Great post. Love how you just started with pure emotion. Really couldn't have said it better myself (Ok, so I would've gone with all caps...FUCK!!!)

    April 16, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Becki @ Fighting for Wellness

    Thank you for your candor. I was down by the finish line yesterday and had just left my spot across the street from the second blast just minutes before it happened. My emotions keep cycling and I'm not sure when I'll feel normal again. I'm pissed too, and sad, and frustrated, and feeling helpless.

    April 16, 2013 at 5:32 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Jake

    Sharing that last quote with everyone I can. It's true. Thanks for the great blog post, Tony. Hope things are going alright, or as best as they can, around your city.

    April 16, 2013 at 6:58 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Jay

    Tony, I feel how you feel completely. I am a MA transplant from Colorado and have been in Mass for 10 years now and love it! I am sad and very angered, but also comforted by the true goodness people displayed as you noted above. I will say it puts things in prospective. Something I saw on either your or Eric's site hit home for me. It was picture of your workout schedule and it read, "if you don't deadlift the terrorists win" While it was meant in jest I find truth in it. If we do not forge ahead in solidarity and with purpose then they do win. We will never forget the victims, and in fact, I would bet they will forever live through our prayers and efforts as we go forward. So for my part I will keep lifting, and keep hugging my kids, and be a proud member of the community. #American Spirit will NEVER be broken!

    April 17, 2013 at 10:16 am | Reply to this comment

    • TonyGentilcore

      Thanks for chiming in Jay. I pretty sure that quote you noted was from my blog. As you suggested, it was completely said in jest, but definitely holds some weight given the current state of affairs. It's going to be weird walking around the city from now on, with these thoughts of "could it happen again" in the back of my mind. But, as everyone else out there keeps saying over and over again, it's important that we prove to these wackjobs that their actions will not deter us from living our lives.

      April 17, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Matt Case

    Tony, My heart goes out to all those affected by this tragedy. It was a truly horrible and evil thing. I think this should remind us all that our time here is short and we need to get right with God. Matt

    April 17, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Nidin

    Glad to hear that you, lisa and your friends are well.

    April 17, 2013 at 8:08 pm | Reply to this comment

  • ronellsmith

    Tony, Glad to know you and Lisa are OK. I'm happy we do not have TV, because at least I have an excuse for not following too closely. I've read some of the stories, and it just rips your heart out. And sickens you. I've resolved to, instead of being hate-filled at the culprits, make a donation to one of the orgs/hospitals in the Boston area. *the hate-filled part is a work in progress*

    April 18, 2013 at 7:56 pm | Reply to this comment

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