This is my story of what took place after I finished The Boston Marathon in 2013….
I finished the marathon and continued to walk through the long line to get everything. First was the heat blanket, then medals, then water and Gatorade then food, then they told us to get our checked bags. I didn’t check a bag (big mistake because it was freezing after!). The way they had the finished set up it continued you over a mile past the finish in the opposite direction of where I was staying. I was staying on Hereford street less than a mile from the finish and also was part of the marathon.
I ended having to walk farther away from the apartment in order to back track. It took me about an hour to get back to the apartment. On the walk, I was filled with emotions. I was cold and upset because it was so far and I was all alone with no one to share the experience with. I was also so happy and was recapping how amazing of a race it was.
Once I finally made it back to the apartment right before I went in is when I heard the first explosion. Except, I didn’t think much of it. I thought it was just kids doing something. So I went into the apartment and since I was so cold I just went right into the shower and decided I would pack up and get a cab to the airport as quick as possible so I wouldn’t miss my flight. I figured I could text and respond to everyone at the airport.
Once all packed up – I headed outside and all I saw were people crying and running. I walked around a bit and a women asked if she could do something for me. I said I am trying to get to the airport and that is when she told me what had happened. It was terrifying. I had no idea what to do – or who to call. I finally checked my phone and had 50 missed messages. I got a hold of Duran and my mom and was trying to hail a cab. There were just sirens and emergency vehicles flying by. All the cabs that went by were full and people were in a massive panic. I tried to contact people I knew in Boston to pick me up but since I was a mile from the finish no one could get close enough to get me.
After an hour outside a cab finally stopped and said he wanted to be done for the day but would bring me where I needed to be. A woman and her husband got in the cab too and were incredibly nice. She paid for my cab and let me know if I got stuck I could stay with her.
Once at the airport, my flight was delayed and I would miss my connecting. Luckily, they were able to switch flights around and I was still able to get on a flight.
It was around 6 at this point and I still hadn’t eaten or comprehended anything. Once I sat down, the emotions started to come. People would talk to you and you would try to answer them but it was all so surreal.
I couldn’t wait to get home and see Duran and just be home in a familiar place.
Boston will not be tainted for me. It was an amazing experience – one I will never forget in a positive way. I will also never forget how horrific such an inspiring event can turn.
I called in sick to work today. I was in not physically (those down hills hurt my quads!) and more importantly emotionally to deal with the questions my students and co-workers would have. I went and got breakfast today on my own at a little cafe to just process some things. Once home, I turned on the Today Show and just lost it. I cried and it felt really good after. I think I had been so stimulated and in panic/survival mode I never had a chance to process and feel.
I have felt a lot better this afternoon and tonight. It is very similar to your race advice when you have to acknowledge a feeling. Instead of my knee feels funky it is more of it is okay to feel hurt but then move forward.
This inspires me more to continue with the lifestyle I have and if you stop doing what you love you allow them to win. If anything it has reminded as many things do, that it is okay to go for your dreams and reach big. It has reminded me that if you are not 100% happy in a situation then do something about it because you get one life. It has reminded me to thank my body for what is CAN do and not what it COULD look like if. It has reminded me to love with my whole heart because there is not room for anything less in your life.
September 11th is a date I still get chills when I hear – The Boston Marathon will be another day – I will never forget.