From Boston to Boulder


1,992.08 miles. The distance Google says from Boston, MA to Boulder, CO. Yet my training odometer reads 3,212.8 miles since I crossed the tragic finish line at the 2013 Boston Marathon only to set my sights on Ironman Boulder on August 3, 2014. My feet are sore…and so too are my hamstrings, my rotator cuffs and even my ears as they are blocked from pool water. With five days between today and the competition, my eyes look forward while my heart looks back.

High-fives everywhere as I passed the Boston Marathon finish line at 2:43 pm. BOOM! A canon? A cherry bomb? A propane tank explosion? No, a pressure cooker bomb designed for a bad result. Standing only a few yards away while I watched a wall of security form between me and the finish line, I became an eyewitness to history rather than a sub-4 hour marathoner. Just the night before, my son Keith had challenged me to break 4 hours because I doubted my fitness level. His voice became my mantra as each mile clicked by until I finished with a 3:57 time. Without my son, I likely would have finished 4-5 minutes slower only to become a part of history instead. That day was filled with heroes…and my hero was Keith.

The weeks after turned into months and my feet kept running, my legs kept cycling and my arms kept pulling water behind me in the pool. I wonder what a fitbit would have calculated for me! But I carried no such gadgets. I only carried the images of the heroes of that day…keeping me motivated…making me stronger. Boston Stronger did work. Healing came. Faster for some…and maybe slower for others. So we carry this Boston Strong message in our hearts even though we hear it a little less in the news.

The real magic of Boston Strong happens when a different noun replaces Boston: “America Strong”, “California Strong”, you name it and someone gets motivated beyond Boston by extending the reach of this catchy slogan. Motivation makes us live life. It helps us enjoy the little and big accomplishments we make because we are “All Strong”.

Strong is what I am going to need. My pursuit of the next finish line lies just five days away in Boulder, Colorado with the Ironman: 2.4 miles of swim and 112 miles of biking for the privilege of running a 26.2 mile marathon. I’ll take the “Boulder Strong” slogan if you don’t mind. I sure could use the extra help. My bike shirt won’t hurt either.

About the author: Brian Carroll is the CEO of Pivot Insurance and holds CLU & CPCU designations. He has been part of the life insurance industry for over 30 years. He is also an avid runner and has participated in many athletic endurance events. Brian established the anonymous life insurance quote process here at Pivot and takes pride in the caring and professional staff. You can reach Brian at 1-800-651-1953 or