Twitter was again my most reliable news source on Monday as events in Boston overtook my timeline. I’m not going to go into the actual event too much, because it’s depressing, and also because other writers (with more time, and probably, you know…a paycheck) have spent the best part of 72 hours churning stuff out non-stop, so it would seem churlish to swoop in and outdo them.
What I am going to mention is the same feeling of helplessness that everybody gets when things of this type happen. It happened to me on a more personal level in Newtown in December, (note: I actually had written a lot about this back then, but it got lost when the site crashed) but it’s something that I’m sure everybody feels . With Newtown I wanted to do something – anything – to help, even if it was in a very small and rather insignificant way, and that’s how I ended up volunteering at Soccer Night in Newtown (I say ‘ended up’, but I basically kept bothering them until they said I could help). So I think it’s important the people feel able to do something regardless of how worthwhile or not it might be, in the grand scheme of things.
For Boston, the dark spectre of “terrorism” has raised its head again. I guess the continuing investigation will eventually find the culprit(s) – whether domestic or foreign – but in any case, this was an act of terror. For me the best way to ‘fight’ terrorism is to show the guilty party that you won’t be cowed by the efforts to frighten you, that you’ll continue to enjoy the freedoms and life that you’ve carved out for yourself. We’ve seen over many years and many awful events that ‘getting back to normal’ is the only way to get back to normal. Let me explain – it’s really only once the TV vans and journalists and lookie-lous have moved on that a community can return to any sort of normality. It can take a while, of course, but the human spirit has a genuinely amazing capacity to rebound from any kind of tragedy. Because of this I completely expect next year’s Boston Marathon to be even more over-subscribed that it usually.
Take that, bad guys!
With that in mind, I thought the best thing that I – somebody with no power, little influence, and even less money – could do, would be to join people in sticking the proverbial two fingers up at those who would do this sort of thing. My original plan when starting this blog entry was to kinda waltz around things before announcing that ‘bam!’ I’m going to run the marathon. Naturally, reality then set in and I realised that with the best will in the world, I am not likely to line up in Boston next April. Sure…I could get into better shape, start running, and heck, there might be a small chance that I could even find myself in a position to run 26.2 miles…but after reading their website I’ve found out that don’t even let you apply until you’ve done a marathon in 3hr 5min (at least for a dude of my age). That’s insane. First off, I don’t think I can do the same thing for more than three hours as it, never mind running. I have the attention span of mosquit-oooh, it’s raining. I mean, that’s running the whole thing at a consistent pace of 7 minutes a mile. So that’s not happening.
My thoughts following this rather depressing revelation around those people I saw on Monday who actually aren’t going to be running any time soon. The people who’d had limbs blasted away. You know, it’s not often that I look at my legs and think “wow…you two really are quite amazing”. I’m likely to say something like “holy crap, these are pale”. So, in a weird way I think it’d be a nice personal gesture if I were to actually use them a lot more, and yes, that means running.
I’ve been meaning to do more to help my fitness for a while – I actually made a pretty good effort with a treadmill before christmas, but then the treadmill died and it was really cold outside, so..yeah, you know. I do play football once a week, and that is awesome, but frankly I could do with a bit of extra pep there too.
I decided that I’m going to start slow. I don’t know how far I could run right now (probably not that far, maybe a mile, and definitely not fast) so it seems to me that a smart move would be to start slow. Walk for half an hour a day – brisk walking, mark you – to get my body used to the idea. Then, in a couple of weeks, I’ll start running, and we’ll just take it from there. I’d like to think that I would fall in love with running the way that those fitness website tell you that you will, but I really don’t think it’s likely. Although I am told that, genetically speaking,I should be quite a good runner – apparently my actual grandfather (my mother’s real dad…long story) was pretty nifty. And it has been confirmed by a cardiologist that I have a “runner’s heart”, which made me laugh.
It is kind of strange how, as a kid, you run around pretty much all the time, but when you get older you don’t do it as much, until at some point it becomes a drag to walk up a flight of stairs [sidenote – another effort on my part will be to use stairs more rather than take the elevator]
We’ll see what happens. Maybe I’ll post stuff here about the whole thing.