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John Nichols is running Boston to provide support and training for para-rowing

"Rowing helped not only strip the weight but make me physically and most importantly mentally strong."

John Nichols, who began rowing to lose weight, is running to support a rowing group that helps those who are para rowers. John Nichols

In our “Why I’m Running” series, Boston Marathon runners share what’s inspiring them to make the 26.2-mile trek from Hopkinton to Boston. If you’re running the marathon, you can share your #WhyImRunningBoston story here.

Name: John Nichols
Age: 34
From: Clinton

I have lost around 130 lbs. since 2014.

I was active but everything was a challenge, from mobility and energy to clothes and just how I felt. Every aspect of my life circled around my weight and holding me back. I was through with it, I hated that obstacle as it always precluded me from life!

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Rowing helped not only strip the weight but make me physically and most importantly mentally strong. My wife and I both row, and agree the best part is there is no quitting in the middle, you have to finish.

This would be tested in 2018 when I broke my leg in Scotland. I felt helpless, I could not do daily tasks by myself and while I knew my wounds would heal, I was constantly in fear of reverting back to my former self!

Now I have the opportunity to raise money for Community Rowing Inc. who provides the needed programming, training, and support for para rowing, as they are leaders in this commitment to helping make our sport as diverse and open to all no matter the background or the ability of the athlete.

Editor’s note: Entry may have been lightly edited for clarity or grammar.

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