Scars: ones we can see and ones we can’t

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I debated whether or not I actually wanted to post something today.. I know that sounds a little odd considering I talk about the Boston Marathon bombings on a consistent basis. This blog is primarily a lighthearted and inspirational running blog, and I don’t typically talk about negative things in my life as a result of what happened.

I wasn’t physically hurt-this is true. But the scars that you cannot see are the ones that are forever etched in my heart. A year later they are still very much there. A bomb at the marathon was not what I had trained for…and what happened is something I struggle with every single day.
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I am not an anxious person- I literally never worry about anything. But, my husband and several of my friends in our group who were there have had very real anxiety issues as a result of 4/15. It is a life changing experience, and certainly a relationship-changer. Panic attacks/crowd anxiety/fear of loud noises/PTSD–>these are very real and very present issues among my “people”. I’m not going to delve too deep into that because it is extremely personal to each individual.

My emotions run high. I am angry. I hear people/runners who weren’t there saying how they want to run Boston to show their support and how nothing can take running from “them”.
I selfishly get angry:
“YOU weren’t THERE flashes” through my mind.
“YOU don’t UNDERSTAND, YOU CAN’T POSSIBLY KNOW WHAT WE ARE GOING THROUGH”
“Unless you were there, you do not understand, how could you”

And then I remember… that everyone is entitled to their own feelings from that day, I can’t take that away or selfishly say “You are not ALLOWED to feel that way”. And, I realize my anger has been misdirected: I am angry at THE BOMBERS. They have ended lives, changed lives, changed a city, changed the marathon. It will never be the same, I will never be the same.

Yes I have scars. I think I always will. But you bet your ass I thank god every freaking day for the miracle that all of my close family and friends weren’t harmed. I have chosen to move on, to go forward, and not let the bombers dictate my life. By choosing to run again this year I have made the decision to be BOSTONSTRONG. Not everyone is happy that I am running and I am sure that Easter Sunday with my family will be full of words of well wishes, worries, and a touch of anxiety.

As excited as I am for the 118th Boston Marathon, I am ready to close the door on the past year of my life. Today is the one year anniversary, but it won’t feel like “one year” until I cross the finish line. I have been holding my breathe in anticipation-I’m ready to exhale. I need this to be over. I need to move on. I am not a dweller but I have dwelled on this day for a solid year: the stolen finish line moment, and the celebrations that never came. Every moment since it happened felt like a first-The first Christmas, first birthday…and with each one, I couldn’t help but think “I almost didn’t get to be here.”

Today, I have been flooded with positive words from everyone around me. The love I feel of everyone around feels like one big emotional hug. It is the same way that I felt the night of the bombs: So many people reached out with their words of kindness and love. I am lucky, and to all of you I love you and THANK YOU. Over vacation, I plan to see the Boston marathon exhibit that opened in the city: It comforts me that my shoes are in that exhibit:
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There are others, the real survivors, who are physically scarred. Their stories are the most beautiful ones I have ever heard in my life. I had the privilege of meeting Sydney Corcoran’s father at a golf tournament this summer, as well as the men who saved Sydney and Celeste’s lives. Sydney, her mom , and her dad were all at the finish line when the bombs hit. Sydney fared better than her mother: shrapnel had to be removed from her body. Her mother lost both her legs. Sydney Corcoran was a senior at the high school I teach at :the WHOLE school rallied this remarkable young woman and her mother. We prayed. We couldn’t take our eyes off the media coverage of her. When she was voted Prom Queen, the whole school and news crews turned out to see her. Their story and their bravery gives me goosebumps to think of it. They are two beautiful and Boston Strong women.
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I urge you to visit this site to read/view more on other survivors. And lets say a prayer for those who CANT be here today: Krystle Campbell, Martin Richard, Lu Lingzi and Sean Collier.
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I know I am BostonStrong. I am moving on. I am a survivor. And so is my city and my Marathon..We are BOSTONSTRONG..We shut down a whole city to catch the bad guys…Today I urge you to hug your loved ones, and reach out to those you know who were there that day. Never forget the way you felt when it happened: the urge to reach out and make sure your loved ones were ok: even if you live in Arkansas and you were nowhere near the bombings-you felt like you needed to just CHECK. Let that feeling live in your heart, always.

Dedicate your run today for Boston!
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26 thoughts on “Scars: ones we can see and ones we can’t


  1. Go take back Marathon Monday again!!! Hugs to you!! You have every right to all the emotions you have for that day and your experience was completely different than most of ours. But just know we're all in this together and we all want to help you support your amazing city! 😀

  2. It’s true that all of us who are runners that weren’t there feel some sort of “special sympathy” because we “could have been there”, but we have NO idea what it was really like then or what life is like even two years later. Thanks for giving that insight, by starting the conversation you are already healing others that are going through the same feelings, maybe from a totally different experience. So glad you are okay and that you are sharing this!!

  3. Great post. I was not there and cannot possibly understand how runners there felt. But I will say, as a person just entering the running community that year, I felt such a strong sense of resolve in the running community. Runners are an incredible bunch! Good luck 🙂

  4. Nicole you are such an amazing person and inspiration this reblog is very touching and my heart will be with all of you running the streets of Boston on Monday. xoxo YOU’VE GOT THIS twinnie!!! 🙂

  5. Reblogged this on The Girl Who Ran Everywhere and commented:

    I still feel exactly the same way as I did last year at this time. I wanted to “reblog” my original post in tribute to today. May your heart be filled with love for your friends and family (I call them “my people”). May you feel the love today that you had for own loved ones who were possibly in Boston on that day.

    Today is One Boston Day.
    We are One in our actions and in Our strengths.
    We are a strong city and you don’t **** with Boston.
    We rally.
    We survive.
    We are BostonStrong.

    xo Nicole

  6. I’m happy you seem to dealing with things in the best possible way. You have a strong spirit. I’m glad you’ll be returning this year 🙂

  7. I’m with you 100%! We’ll have a stronger race this year for more reasons than we can count. See you at the finish line!

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