Friday, April 06, 2007


We sacrifice so many things to this sport. Time. Energy. Money. Muscles and lungs. Blood and sweat. Emotions and words. Laughter and tears. Things. Pets. Possessions. People.

Especially people.

We pay this price because we believe that somehow the experience of early mornings and late evenings and hours of exertion all come together to mean something special. That somehow the combination of obsessive nutrition and metered rest and scheduled exertion and regulated heart rate all sum together to make of us a greater whole. That somehow, somewhere beyond the unbroken miles stretched out far unseen into the distance, we'll find something that makes us some kind of some person in some way so much more than who or what we were before.

That is, we're hoping it makes us better.

But what kind of better is it if we lose the people who mean the most to us? What kind of better is it, when the people we claim we love are the ones we leave at home alone, wondering where we are and why we do what we do and who it is we think we are trying to become? What kind of better is it, when we are not there at the exact time when the people we care for need us the most?

Are we better if we fail to fulfill the promises we made? Are we better if we do not share ourselves with the ones we love?

Sure, they tell us they understand. Sure, they encourage us to chase a dream. They wish for all their hearts to see us find what we wish to find, and to continue seeking what we are driven to seek until we do. But that still doesn't make it right.

We somehow think we don't need to find what we already have. But if we lose them--and lose them we will--we'll never find them again.

We talk of honor, character, code. We talk of resolve, determination, persistence. We talk of strength, power, skill, ability, pride. We talk of glory. We talk of fame. We talk of adoration.

We talk of faith, piety, sanctity. We talk of enlightenment, harmony, inner peace, the center, being at one with creation. We talk of finding ourselves and our world and our god and our life and our place in it.

We talk of so many words that are supposed to mean so many things explaining everything we seek.

We talk of many things, except the one thing that remains when all of it is gone and there is nothing but the silence and the darkness and us all alone: it all means nothing unless there is someone there to share it with.

Because in many ways, it's not about us. It never was. It's about us and them.

Especially them.

Because in this life, and in this world, we're in it together.

I returned, and saw under the sun,
that the race is not to the swift,
nor the battle to the strong,
neither yet bread to the wise,
nor yet riches to men of understanding,
nor yet favour to men of skill;
but time and chance happeneth to them all.
--Ecclesiastes 9:11

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