So, it’s spring — a bloody spring, a promising spring. Not long ago, when the Olympic committee was proposing to ban wrestling from the Olympics — wrestling, which, besides running, is the Olympic sport — I said to Mary I’d never met a wrestler whose character I didn’t admire. And now, given the abomination in Boston, that generalization is swept away — with the dead, with the maimed.
I thought wrestling taught you to stand on your own two feet and not to whine, that it taught you to take what comes, whether defeat or victory, and that the dignity that crowns struggle is uppermost.
It’s a tough sport, not for the faint of heart, not for those inclined to cast blame, certainly not for those inclined to blame “them” whenever things don’t go the way you want. I always thought wrestlers were courageous, not cowards, which is why I find it very hard to accept the fact that one of the bomber brothers — or I should say one of the alleged bomber brothers — was indeed a wrestler. I can’t understand it. I can’t understand why anyone would want to kill spring.
And America, to my mind, is spring — the hope that it brings. You think, as you do when spring comes, that things will be better here. There’s always that hope, else why do people keep coming?
The runners are right. We can’t let despair win. There will always be evil — even the evil that would pose as good. It cannot be wished away, yet it cannot win the day.
Of all the sports, running to me speaks of life, of joy, of camaraderie. I’ve never been to a race from which I’ve not come away energized, hopeful, and, yes, radiant. I don’t understand it, I don’t understand it.
Dr. Sheehan said running is joy. I know because I recently sent my son his book about running and being, and peeked into it before I sent it off. I never thought anyone else would outdo me in quoting philosophers and thinkers of times past to buttress his thoughts, but he did, leaving me in the dust.
We can’t let despair win.