It can be both

This time of year is always a mixed bag for me.

One the one hand, the sun is shining more, the runs are not through snow, and the Red Sox have officially started their season.

On the other hand, I always get jittery and nervous around this time of year. My body remembers. On days like this where the weather is perfect and slightly windy like it was that day, my body holds on to the trauma so tightly I want to strip it off, like a too-tight article of clothing at the end of the day.

This time of year brings great joy, and deep sadness for me. It is / was my favorite time of year: People are announcing what events will be held Boston Marathon weekend, and either I’ve been preparing to run, write about, or attend the marathon.

With just weeks to go, although I am not running this year, the excitement is palpable.

But the jitters are real. Despite having run Boston Marathon twice since the bombings, I still have the recurring video-tape like memory in my mind from being on the finish line that day when it all happened.

I still jump at loud noises.

The marathon bombing is what finally pushed me out of the newsroom and officially into marketing — after covering the bombings and a murder case in Maine in my early reporting years, I decided I just didn’t have the chops anymore for news.

In many ways, that day broke me. Shook my identity. Prompted me to become an even better runner. Forced me over that finish line (twice!) under my own power trying to erase horrible memories with happy, joyous ones.

And that’s the thing- a finish line I associate with pain and trauma I also associate with joy, grit, and unrelenting forward motion despite it all.

Life, as in running, can be both ugly and beautiful.