4 weeks to go until the Boston Marathon.
I am not running this year and although I am sad to have not qualified again at the race last year I am grateful for the two experiences that I had running it in 2013 and 2014. These past two years since April 15th, 2013 have been filled with turmoil and tremendous personal growth. I been forced to contemplate my true-self and my priorities on a much deeper level than before.
In the wake of the Boston Marathon tragedy that happened on that bright blue sky Monday I was confronted with shattered illusions of safety and peace. We walk in a world where we are surrounded by constant dangers that we are somehow able to cope with and work around. When the bomb blasts shook Boylston Street I along with so many others was left feeling terrified and weak. I felt as though my personal sense of safety had been stolen from me and I was left with a huge sense of grief, fear and worry.
2 years ago I was in my final weeks of Boston Marathon training ready to taper and focus my energy on running a strong race.
2 years ago I was physically strong but had not been awakened to some of the realities of life. And then race day came. I have been rebuilding my spirit since the bombs went off that day. I had to confront my emotions head on and to make peace with the unexpected and things that are out of my control. After the marathon I grappled with deep insecurity and struggled with the need to control everything. I lived in a constant state of worry that something bad was about to happen at all times. I wanted to protect my family. I wanted to shelter myself. I felt the need to close off some of my emotions to protect myself and others from hurt and tragedy
1 year ago I stepped on the starting line of the Boston Marathon.
Last year after a year of therapy battling PTSD. I confronted my fear and stepped on the starting line of the Boston Marathon. I ran the race with great trepidation. I was ready to run but couldn’t allow myself to race. I cried during the race. I ran fast because I just wanted to be done. I stopped and wanted to quit because I was afraid and the feelings of grief for Martin Richard and everyone else who was hurt. It was almost too much too handle. I ran and felt heavy. Sick with emotions. I ran and I finished, Reaching the finish line only to collapse from dehydration but more perhaps from pure emotion.
I am not running the Boston Marathon this year.
I did not re-qualify to run again. With a time of 3:45 I missed the qualifying time for my age group. And I was ok. For me, it was most important to run again. I needed to free myself of some of the fears and let the emotions flow. I am still in a process of healing. I am still easily startled and sometimes have to shake the feelings of overwhelming worry that something bad is about to happen. It is important to verbalize it when something feels overwhelming and maybe even a bit scary. Sometimes the emotions from that day are triggered and I am not sure why but I just have to ride it out. Emotional healing will continue for a long time and part of the process is sharing about it.
Boston Marathon 2015
Even though I will not be running this year if you are running the Boston Marathon this year I will be cheering loudly for you. Your spirit and participation will help to bring back strength to all those who need it. We will all continue to be Boston Strong together and to Lift each other up!
Every year that passes since Boston 2013 is a good reminder that it is time to get out and live. To live out loud and to live a life full of love laughter and adventure.
“The highest and most beautiful things in life are not to be heard about, nor read about, nor seen but, if one will, are to be lived.”
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