Letter to the Editor: Marathon Running

I am not much for running.  I try to run for exercise at least 5 times a week, but that takes place in the comfort of my own home in front of a television.  I use the television as a diversion from the pain I associate with running.  I run for health reasons, not because I enjoy it.

Running hurts.  For me, it’s my ankles, my knees, and my hips that bother me everyday and that try to convince me to find a better way to stay in shape.  There are, however, two parts to running that keep me motivated.  First, is the feeling of accomplishment that I get from crossing the arbitrary finish line that I establish for myself.  Second, is the endurance I have been able to improve dramatically over the past few months.

I admire runners for their endurance.  I admire them for their ability to put one foot in front of the other thousands of times ignoring the pain and agony that they deal with routinely.  To soldier on and not simply stop until they reach their goal takes enormous mental toughness.  It is what endurance is all about.

To endure is to deal with hardship, patiently, without giving in.  Marathon runners have a lot to endure.  Their entire existence is connected to hardship and they never give in.

On April 15, at the Boston Marathon, runners had even more to endure.

After the attack on Boston I found myself thinking about what the marathon will look like next year, and if people will come out to run it.  It didn’t take long for me to believe, strongly, that they will … in droves.  I then started thinking about us.  About all of us non-marathoners who are still out there running our own race that requires us to endure.  I started to think about all that we have had to endure this year, about how hard it is to make sense of a historic storm, or the needless loss of young lives, or an attack on Boston, or any number of the personal hardships we all deal with privately.  Like the marathoners we have to keep going.  We have to keep moving along the route no matter how much it hurts.  We must endure.

Marathon runners run by themselves, but they are never alone.  They find a way to support each other throughout the race as spectators continually encourage them to keep going.  Perhaps this is the model that we, as a school, can learn from now.  The only way we can endure this series of hardships is to make sure that we are never alone.  When one of us gets tired and wants to stop, there need to be others there to make sure we finish the race.

 

~Principal Mr. Ira Pernick