This week's Dancing With the Stars came just one week after the devastating Boston Marathon bombings that had an effect on so many people across the country. The week was full of sadness and speculation that all came to a head on Friday when the entire city of Boston and close suburbs were effectively shut down to find the bombing suspects.
In other words, it wasn't an easy week to just dance and have fun, especially for Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman who is from the Boston area and wore her "I Heart Boston" shirt to every rehearsal. At just 18, it must be awfully hard to be so far from home.
As a fellow Bostonian, albeit almost twice her age, I felt much the same. I couldn't stop thinking about my town and missing the people at home and worrying about them almost constantly. It was a hard week.
Aly may not be a front runner at this point (though she is improving). That seems to be reserved for Zendaya and Kellie Pickler right now. But Raisman is tough and talented and she is probably capable of more than she thinks if she just loosens herself up a bit.
That was, in some ways, what this week was all about for her. Her scores were great and she did better than ever before. I would bet it was because in her heart, she was thinking of her beloved town. She couldn't do anything to help them, but she could give them hope.
It's the same reason so many Bostonians (like me) broke out their Red Sox gear and started wearing it every day. It may seem shallow and silly in the face of such an enormous tragedy, but sometimes all you can do is send that love out into the universe and hope that in some way, it reaches its destination.
Aly performed beautifully this week, despite extreme sadness, homesickness, and probably a lot of fear. If there were a category for dancing through difficult circumstances, she would take all 10s.
The fact is, as an athlete, she would already be shaken by an event like this. But as a Bostonian, my word. You just can't know how much Patriots Day means to us. It's the day we all celebrate Massachusetts. It's our own personal, beautiful holiday. All of that was attacked last Monday and Raisman still had to go on.
For that, she deserves a medal and all 10s. She is a perfect 10 in my book.
Did you think Raisman was brave tonight?
Image via ABC