Hi everyone Raggety here.
In a few weeks I will have the heads of my sporting business outlets with me here in Boscombe. It is an annual meeting where we all get together. The company infrastructure is being changed and the major changes will be finalised for the coming year.
Getting the heads of each country together is tricky as we are so busy and we are in Sri Lanka, Malaga(Spain), Pathos(Cyprus), Gran Canaria, the Middle East, including Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Abu Dhabi and base HQ in Dubai.
I was once very overweight. Not something new as many of us have a time when we may put on weight. Having met Kev years ago when I could not walk up the stairs at home without puffing; with his help I am now the lean Ironman triathlete and marathon runner.
So a few weeks ago I was near to getting ready for my next marathon.
Not London this year for me but I flew out to Boston for the great historic Boston Marathon.
What happened you have seen day after day on your TV screens. I will not go over the tragedy, but would like to share with you my thoughts on this.
The people who did this (it appears at present), were not unlike other such incidents we have known.
A belief they are right and others are wrong. Then having come to that belief they feel they are in some way justified to harm other human beings.
I sent an email to my good friend Kev. A grown man and I felt helpless about the deaths and about the horrible injuries to many others that the bomb caused.
Kev sent a reply that made a huge impact on me! He said he people of the USA are special. He said “go out of your hotel room..now!!..and go down the street and talk to them.”
I found myself half-dazed walking along the street where there were police and military everywhere. Sirens and noise and flashing lights.
Then I just said good morning to a group of Bostonians.
They all looked at me and said “You from the UK?” Then from that moment I was hit with wave after wave of kindness. "Are you okay?" "Did you finish the marathon before the bomb?" “Are you here alone?"
I then found myself invited to dinner by these complete strangers.
I attended dinner with a large group who like many in Boston were trying to deal with the shock. It was though I was some guest of honour. At times I was near to tears as they kept asking if I was okay at my hotel and that I could stay with them.
Well this story and my night with my new friends in Boston could go on.
I would like tho to end there for now and add some thoughts I have.
Kev once knew someone who posted on his website derogatory things about the USA. Saying they started wars and more.
This same person thought that the Nazi regime that started the second world war was okay, that they could do that and that was fine; even saying that Britain should not have gone to war to defend herself and her allies
He said this on a computer. Hiding, as he always does in his house. He can do this because the USA and Britain and many others do not allow regimes such as the Nazi regime to carry out what they do. That is - kill innocent people who not agree with their viewpoint and do not do as they are told.
He can sit behind his computer as the people who fought for the rights he likes to use (but wants to take from others) sacrificed their lives for him and us.
Kev’s father was one of these brave people who truly represent Britain – that is the right for free speech and asylum from regimes which seek to destroy and silence those who defend diversity. He fought in the second world war, and Kev has served his country too with his stint in the army (full time) then after back in civilian life he was a reservist for many years. Perhaps the fact that this ‘preacher’ of hate’s father was a conscientious objector during that war and walked around all day in pyjamas helped mold his strange ideas about what being British is all about.
For to then boast to his old friend he has passed on names of people he does not like (as they disagree with him) to right wing groups shows what he is!
Then when Kev told him where to go after being told about this, he is then informed that all details about him were being passed on to such groups.
I am thankful to our UK security for keeping a vigilance for us.
The people like the one Kev knew who were prepared to make contact with these groups not only undermine national security, they actually want people to be hurt just because they have a view and you disagree and must not be allowed to express it.
It is very dark and indeed it can frighten you just thinking about it.
To end I go back to Boston.
I reached the UK and could not think of how I could say "thank you." Do I send an email to the Whitehouse?
Would President Obama want to hear that I wondered.
Then I knew what I had to do!
Next year I am going back to run the Boston Marathon. To me is a way for me to truly say thank you USA and thank you to Boston.