Things That Matter

Retired Marine Staff Sgt. Jose Luis Sanchez, Who Lost Leg In Afghanistan, Crosses Boston Marathon Carrying U.S. Flag

In 2013 the Boston Marathon was viciously attacked. When a home-made bomb went off at the finish line, three people lost their lives and 264 were injured, including 14 who needed amputations. Since then, the running of the annual marathon has become a symbol of perseverance for many, with some of the victims of the bombing returning to run again. Runners have come from all over to show their grit, determination and for many, their patriotism.


Staff Sgt. Jose Luis Sanchez a retired marine and amputee completed the Boston Marathon with a U.S. flag in hand.

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This year’s breakout Boston Marathon story of perseverance and patriotism is undoubtedly that of retired marine, Staff Sgt. Jose Luis Sanchez, who lost part of his leg in 2011 after stepping on an IED while on duty in Afghanistan. Sanchez completed the 26 mile race in under 6 hours, while wearing a “Semper Fi” shirt and waving a giant U.S. flag the whole way. Whatever your politics, there’s no denying his strength and bravery, coming back to run after not being able to stand for more than three seconds at a time.


In a video from The Boston Herald, Sanchez commented on his journey from not being able to stand, to running 26 miles.

Credit: Boston Herald / Youtube

“I wanted to not only recognize veterans and stuff, but everyone that thinks that they’re unable to do something. I couldn’t stand up for more than three seconds or walk more than two feet, and I fought my way for four, five years, just to be able to walk farther, be able to lift my body up. And I kept on pushing it. Mentally and spiritually I was good, so I wanted to push it even further and do the marathon.”


There were tons of images of Sanchez running with his flag on social media.

According to an interview with Runner’s World, the flag he ran with was given to him by his patrol unit as he recovered. The flag has positive messages written on it in marker. Of the flag, Sanchez told Runner’s World “I boxed it up for three or four years because I didn’t want to acknowledge it.” He then went on to say: “One day I opened it back up and read through the inspirational quotes they sent me and I was motivated.”


The crowds were all about it, cheering him on loudly while he pushed forward.

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He looked strong from start to finish.


But no image was as powerful as seeing him actually cross the finish line, with the crowd cheering and his flag waving.

A fellow runner offered to help, but Sanchez was strong on his own.


If you’re not crying yet, put on your seatbelt and grab some tissues. He ran with his wife, who recorded and cheered him on the whole way, hugging him at the end.

As beautiful as it all is, according to his Instagram account, it was a long and difficult road and inspiration was only the beginning.

♠I HAVE BEEN SCARED AND FUCKING TERRIFIED OF THIS BOSTON MARATHON. IM AFRAID OF FAILURE AND LOSS AND TO LET EVERYONE DOWN, BUT THROUGH THE LOVE AND SUPPORT. I’M REMINDED THAT IT’S NOT ABOUT BEING THE BIGGEST , STRONGEST OR FASTEST PERSON. ITS ABOUT NEVER FUCKING GIVING UP. NEVER FUCKING QUITING. NEVER FUCKING SURRENDERING. IT’S ABOUT FIGHTING BACK WHEN LIFE PUSHES YOU AROUND. YOU FUCKING PUSH BACK AND PUSH BACK FUCKING HARD. IT’S ABOUT BEING FUCKING RESILIENT, KEEPING THE MOTHER FUCKING DRIVE ALIVE AND PUSHING THE LIMITS OF FUCKING POSSIBLE. THAT’S WHAT THE FUCK IT’S ALL ABOUT!!!!! ________________________________________________ #FUCKIT #FUCKSHITUP #SEMPERFI #DRIVE #DESIRE #MOTIVATE #INSPIRE #NEVERGIVEUP #NEVERSURRENDER #BERESILIENT #FITSPIRATION #FITFAM #AFFLICTIONSPORT #AFFLICTION #FIGHTHARD #LIVEFREE #LIVEFAST #LOVEHARD

A post shared by Jose Luis Sanchez (@jls143_) on

According to him, it all started with fear, but an immense sense of hard work and determination has brought him all the way to where he is today.


Sanchez went on to work amazingly hard and used his Instagram account to inspire others with his journey, amassing over 30k followers along the way.

A post shared by Jose Luis Sanchez (@jls143_) on

 The man is a beast.


After the marathon, Sanchez took to Instagram, to drive the inspirational point home.

“Just wanted to let you know this is not about me. It’s about what this represent(s). It’s for you all to see how we all impact each other for a greater good.”


Hang on while I go find a gym to sign up for and hug my mom. No, you’re crying.


[H/T] Marine who lost leg in Afghanistan runs Boston Marathon with American flag

READ: This Former Marine Had To Self-Deport To Mexico Before He Could Become A U.S. Citizen


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Amid A Year Of Heartbreak, These Were The Moments That Gave Us Hope In 2020

Things That Matter

Amid A Year Of Heartbreak, These Were The Moments That Gave Us Hope In 2020

Looking back on 2020, there will be the standout moments: where you were when you realized the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic; when you found out that the shutdown was coming to your town, your city; for millions of Americans, the moment you lost your job; for millions more, when you found out that a parent or loved one had gotten sick or died from the disease; for nearly everyone, the moment you found out you’d lost a friend or treasured icon.

It was a series of emotional moments because everything else was the same — stuck in our homes, it became hard to differentiate between days, weeks, months. It was only the moments that stood out.

But it wasn’t all doom and gloom, as many people stood up and gave us hope amid the uncertainty and loss.

People took to the streets to march for Black and Brown lives.

People, for the most part, stayed inside when told to. We were bored, lonely, horny, scared, appalled — but people stayed home if they could. But then the recent killings of several unarmed Black people — George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and sadly even more since them — renewed and reinvigorated the Black Lives Matter movement.

People had been watching the news out of the U.S. for months, seeing the undeniable reports that Black and Latinx communities had been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, the petulant incompetence of an administration that repeatedly and calculatedly failed those communities, and the destructiveness of a deeply broken health system. And after months of social distancing, those who could do so safely took to the streets, and faced a police response that more than proved their point.

Bad Bunny brought attention to anti-trans violence in Puerto Rico.

Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Throughout his rise as the world’s biggest reggaetón star, Bad Bunny has been known to challenge the genre’s hypermasculine ideals. But he stepped into LGBTQ+ advocacy when he brought mainstream attention to the murder of Puerto Rican trans woman Alexa Negrón Luciano by paying tribute to her on Fallon in a live performance this February. Considering he also made his drag debut in his “Yo Perreo Sola” video this year, it’s refreshing to see a global superstar breaking down gender norms and rallying behind the trans community.

Crowds clapped to celebrate our front-line workers.

For many people, staying at home meant just that: work from home, relax at home, socialise at home, cook at home, and do your best to get through it. For healthcare and support workers, though, this has not been an opportunity to catch up on the Netflix queue. In a few places, it’s been a full-on horror movie; in most places, it’s meant ethical dilemmas, long hours chafing in PPE (some of it improvised amid shortages), heartbreaking FaceTimes with next of kin, and angry or terrified members of the public.

Kamala Harris speaking for women everywhere when she told Mike Pence, “I’m speaking.”

Credit: Julio Cortez / Getty Images

It was a moment that resonated with exasperated women around the world: During the vice presidential debate, after Mike Pence had interrupted soon-to-be Vice President Kamala Harris for the umpteenth time, she quietly but decisively stated, “Mister Vice president, I’m speaking. I’m speaking.” Shortly after the debate, it became a trending sound on TikTok, remixed with Megan Thee Stallion’s “Girls in the Hood.”

We got a new president-elect and a soon-to-be-over Trump presidency.

It was one joyous day in the middle of the worst year ever — when the networks began calling Pennsylvania for Biden, and it dawned on the country that there might be a light at the end of this Trumpian tunnel. Philadelphia had come through with enough votes to clinch the election. 

Marijuana legalization and criminal justice reform sweeps across the country.

Credit: Paul Demaron / Getty Images

How many of us were biting our nails on election night, dreading the possibility of anther four years under a Trump presidency? Well, despite the drawn out process for presidential results, we got to see historic wins for cannabis legalization.

Six legalization initiatives were on ballots across the country; six initiatives passed. Mississippi got medical weed. New Jersey, Arizona, and Montana got recreational. South Dakota became the first state to vote in both medical and recreational at the same time. There’s a lot of bad things to say about 2020, but at least we can look back on it as a tipping-point year in ending the disastrous War on Drugs.

A cute af owl emerged from the less than cute Rockefeller Christmas Tree.

there a better metaphor for 2020 than the typically majestic and inspiring Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree being unearthed this year as a decrepit shell of its fallen brethren of years past? But for optimists — should any still exist — a 2021 metaphor arrived soon after in the form of Rockefeller, a diminutive owl that emerged from the arboreal wreckage. 

Scientists developed a vaccine for COVID-19 in record-breaking time.

In November, the world heard the news that not one – but three – COVID-19 vaccines under development reported promising levels of effectiveness, with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine being approved and rolled out in the UK in December.

Lil Nas X was the best, most unapologetic gay rapper on the internet.

Lil Nas X wasn’t the first mainstream rapper to come out of the closet, but he’s definitely the first to truly have fun poking fun at the homophobia often associated with the genre. His unapologetic confidence — from rapping about bottoming to dressing as Nicki Minaj for Halloween — is inspiring, and watching him playfully respond to homophobes who needlessly take offense to his actions is a never-ending delight

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Someone On Twitter Claims To Have Figured Out Who Bad Bunny’s Muse Is And We Are Here For It

Entertainment

Someone On Twitter Claims To Have Figured Out Who Bad Bunny’s Muse Is And We Are Here For It

Bad Bunny is as melodramatic as he is a hitmaker. The emo Latin trap king is always rapping or singing about a love interest, whether expressing heartbreak (“Amorfoda”), blaming his ex for the split (“Soy Peor”), declaring he’s better off without her (“Solo de Mí”), reminiscing on their past (“La Canción”), realizing he hasn’t quite moved on (“Triste”), acknowledging she was right all along (“Otra Noche en Miami”), imagining the life they could have had together (“Si Estuviésemos Juntos”), asking her to return (“Vuelve”) or reminding her that she’ll always be his (“Mia”).

Someone clearly broke El Conejo Malo’s heart — and a Twitter fan thinks he’s uncracked who Bad Bunny’s Muse be.

In a lengthy thread on Twitter, user and major Benito stan @vicentetrujillo8, also known as “god bunny,” made a convincing case on how Bad Bunny’s ex-girlfriend Carliz de la Cruz is the famed artist’s muse behind his biggest hits.

Credit: @vicentetrujilo8 / Twittercarliz de la cruzCredit: @vicentetrujilo8 / Twitter

“Este hilo es con fin de entrener y para hablar sobre una persona que ha sido fuente de inspiración para las letras de Benito, y como él la sigue recordando en sus canciones,” the Mexico-based enthusiast begins the thread, also posting an old photo of the former couple.

According to the fan, Benito and Carliz de la Cruz were high school sweethearts who dated from 2011 to 2017.

The pair allegedly worked at the Econo supermarket together in Vega Baja before his career took off in 2016. The following year, the couple, according to Vicente, had planned to wed. Instead, they split up. Since then, the sad boy pisces has made numerous songs about an ex, many that the Benito devotee believes were directed at Carliz.

In “Otra Noche en Miami,” Bad Bunny raps, “Pero son las 11:34 y de ti me acordé” y “En el garaje esta el Bentley que tanto querías.” In Vicente’s posts, he highlights two tweets from Carliz, one from February 14, 2018, Valentine’s Day, when she wrote simply “11:34” and another where she joked “voy a tener que empezar a cobra regalías.” 

In a later Instagram live, she also notes that her dream car is a Bentley.

There’s no solid proof that those Benito verses were directed to Carliz, but it does seem hella likely.

Vicente, however, digs deeper into El Conejo Malo’s lyrics for further evidence.

In “Si Estuviésemos Juntos,” an aged Bunny imagines a wedding with a woman that never took place, much like his planned nuptials with Carliz. Even more, the woman booked to be Benito’s bride in the video heavily resembles his ex, with bangs just as she used to have when they were dating.

In current songs like “No Me Conoce” Remix and “Callaíta,” Vicente is convinced he’s talking about Carliz.

Benito bigs up women who are both smart and sexy, he could once more be referring to women like Carliz, a student at the University of Puerto Rico School of Law who often takes videos of herself with friends singing and dancing along to reggaeton and Latin trap hits, oftentimes many of Bad Bunny’s own jams.

“Por lo que muestra en sus redes, podemos deducir que Carliz de la Cruz es una chica buena y estudiosa, pero que disfruta su vida junto a sus amigas. Una que otra vez, la hemos visto en sus historias de Instagram, bailar las canciones de Benito como Mía, Callaíta, No Me Conoce, etc,” Vicente writes.

While the fan makes a strong case about Carliz being the muse behind many of Bad Bunny’s songs, Bad Bunny has us thinking otherwise.

Credit: Chente Ydrach / YouTube

In an interview with Puerto Rican comedian Chente Ydrach, Benito noted that his songs were directed to different women and were even sometimes an imagining of what some of the ladies he has dated would say or feel about him.

In the interview, which was published on the funny guy’s vlog on December 24, the day Benito dropped his surprise debut album, Chente asks bluntly, “who are you talking about?”

“I’ve been a lover since I was a boy, since I was little. In the first grade, I’d bring a Valentine’s Day gift to school, and I would give it to the prettiest girl I saw that day. So since I was a kid, I’ve been a lover, and when I fall, I really love them and suffer and cry and think, ‘damn, I really love her.’ I’m of that flow,” he said, suggesting that he has had many heartbreaks and thus writes about each of them.

He goes on to say that the sad songs on X100PRE, as well as the ones that came before the album, are about different women from different times of life because he has gotten his heart broken on multiple occasions.

But he also adds that some of the songs are imaginings of what the women whose hearts he shattered would say about him.

“When I sing ‘Amorfoda’ in my concerts, I always say that I’ve fallen in love a thousand times, I’ve had my heart broken a thousand times and I’ve also broken a thousand hearts. So there are also songs that I sing as if the person who I fucked up with is singing it to me. ‘Soy Peor’ doesn’t signify that I’m worse; it signifies that she’s worse because of me,” he shares.

With Benito’s relationship with Carliz being his longest, and possibly the most meaningful, it’s likely that Vicente is right about many of El Conejo Malo’s songs referencing this specific ex. However, as a self-described lover and heartbreaker, Bunny himself admits that his tracks are inspired by several past and current romances, and the only one who could identify which emo bop is for which lover is, well, Benito.

Read: 7 Crucial Lessons On Self-Love, As Taught By Body Positive Trapero Bad Bunny 

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