At some point in my recent life I fancied myself a runner. These days I kinda sorta run. Sometimes. At a pace many might not consider really “running”.
Anyway, yesterday was one of those infrequent occurrences when I decided to run. This is a big deal because travel tends to make my running an even less frequent occurrence, even though I always go through the motions of packing up my running gear with lofty ideas of actually using it that rarely come to fruition. Recently, running shoes have made great underwear and sock holders for consolidated packing, but that’s pretty much it. Too bad sports bras don’t make fashionable hats…
But because I used to be a runner I knew that yesterday was the Boston Marathon – a race that has always been my white whale because I just haven’t had the dedication to train well enough to qualify for it. But, somewhere in the back of most runners’ minds is the goal to one day qualify for and then run Boston, regardless of how realistic it actually is. (There are a few bullshit ways for contemptible bastards to get into Boston without actually qualifying, but that’s a different discussion for a different day.)
And so, as thousands of runners were lining up in Boston with the sole purpose of running 26.2 miles, I woke up to a cool, cloudy New York City spring morning - after a late night of too much food, sloth and wine - resolved to put my running gear to use and go for a run at exactly 10AM – the start of the elite men and wave 1 runners.
I couldn’t have asked for better weather or a better location to run and as I was cruising* around the Jackie O reservoir I wondered to myself why I didn’t do this more often….ummm, because you have become a lazy-ass fuck.
I managed to eek out just over 5 miles (not quite 26.2 but super super close in the land of delusion), before heading back to my hotel on the edge of the park to start thinking about how to spend the rest of the day.
As it turns out, me and my friend R ended up eating a leisurely lunch and then tooling around the park until making a spur of the moment decision to go see the Hayden Planetarium show. All I’m going to say about this decision is that it was the best $25 nap I’ve ever taken. There was just something about the moving stars and Whoopie Goldberg’s soothing voice that just lulls one into a very restful and peaceful sleep.
Little did I know that while I was taking my expensive (but totally worth it) nap, there was some horrible fucking shit going on in Boston.
Now, I write a lot about how much people suck and even though I generally say this in jest, we actually really do. We have the potential to be a super horrible species – terrible beyond words - and it’s not just a select few of us. Every single one of us has this evil lurking inside. Some of us are good at quashing it, others notsomuch.
But we also have the potential to be so incredibly awesome. It’s a shame that it often takes horrific tragedy to bring it out. It’s almost as if we need to have a common enemy to work together and act selflessly. And I don’t know whether the beauty of the selfless acts outshines the ugly fact that it takes pain and bloodshed and tragedy to bring them out. I tend to think that it does not, unfortunately.
And now as I come to the end of what I have to say, I don’t know where I was really going with any of this (which is clearly nothing new).
I guess my point is that I found my inner runner again yesterday, which is really to say that I found my inner humanity and I’m guessing that perhaps some of you did too. And I really hope it doesn’t take another act of inhuman atrocity for us to find it again.
*the use of the word ”cruising” may be a bit of an exaggeration
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