Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Marathon Time

Image result for marathon images       In the dictionary the word "marathon" is defined as;


            • a long-distance running race, strictly one of 26 miles and 385 yards (42.195 km).
            • a long-lasting or difficult task or operation of a specified kind
This past weekend the NYC Marathon took place.   This year and in years past I had been on the sidelines cheering friends on in the marathon, I had been on the sidelines just cheering people on even when I did not know anyone running. I am always torn between a few emotions.  The first I must confess is a bit of a bewildered musing on why would anyone do this?  It is brutal, takes a lot of time, takes a lot of training and discipline and looks frankly exhausting.  That thought says nothing about the race or the racers but everything about me.  I do not like any exercise that much - I love my tennis and I love my walking but that is where this ends.  The second thought is humility in the face of these runners who do all of the above and manage to complete the race, never mind the ones that do it like the Flash, just the people for who this not a profession. I am truly am in awe of your accomplishment. The third thought is one that makes me weepy.  I love the sea of humanity that is the NYC marathon.  It is the world, the world with common goals, the world with the pains and aches it takes to achieve, the world with the smiles on the faces of the runners and the grimaces on those who suffer.  The world literally in terms of who is there.  It is the world showing that in a competitive sport people whose governments have convinced us cannot possibly inhabit the same planet are able to compete without violence alongside a 26.2 mile stretch.  It is the wave of cheers coming in different languages, different races, different everything united in their support for these runners.

In the States we have all been living the 2nd definition, training and feeling the pain, wishing at times we can give up but knowing it is still a while to the finish line in this election cycle.  Today is the finish line, you are in Central Park.  We are tired, we are looking at those blankets they give out at the end and the medals with fatigue.  If we were running the marathon though we would not stop right before that gate of balloons!!  Not unless we passed out or were physically unable.   So as tired as we may all be today is the Finish Line we have to vote, to cast our voice.

The 2 events could in some ways also not be more different - one is about the celebration of the human spirit, unity, diversity, the best that we can achieve and the other has been all about pointing out the blisters, the sweat and some frankly cheap shots and tripping.

I would like to think I have not yet succumbed to cynicism and believe that we all are more like the NYC marathon runners and cheering crowd.  People were there to encourage their fellow human beings, they were handing out water, cheers, hugs and applauding their efforts.   Runners are there to show that when you really try, even with obstacles, you can accomplish your goals.

Marathons started in the same place that gave us the budding notion of democracy.  We are all fatigued if not physically from the marathon than emotionally from the election process.  I want to see that spirit of unity that I saw in the NYC marathon happen after the election even if my candidates do not win and I do not want to see the camp that wins treat it like bullying rights over the camp that doesn't.  I am hoping that we all hand each other a virtual blanket and smile that we accomplished something great - democracy never promises to be easy, but unlike any other system especially those we see with Putin and his ilk, it does give us promise of hope and possibility.



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