Short stories from long runs

This blog about my run and training

Sorry for the lack of posts, friends. I’ve been on the hamster wheel over at the Weymouth Club, hitting the treadmill day-in and day-out. Not much to report on that front — profound realizations and entertaining run-ins seem destined for out on the streets, real life running, I guess.

All the same, is anyone else feeling totally bummed out by our sports heroes in recent days? Granted we, the adoring public, are the ones who let them climb atop those pedestals in the first place, but shouldn’t there be some type of responsibility when it comes to messing with our hearts?

The “confession” from Lance Armstrong was basically the most anticlimactic announcement I’ve ever heard. He’s been a liar for years, so that one didn’t shake me up. The same with deer-antler spray or whatever from Ray Lewis and apparently every baseball player ever. But Blade Runner?! Murder?! I can’t take it.

I’m one of those people who watch the Olympics with unbridled enthusiasm, from the first moments of the opening ceremony until the very last of the closing. This past summer I became a fan of the Phillip Phillips song “Home” that played constantly during women’s gymnastics and jumped up and down on a chair in my living room, cheering for the 1-2 finish from Mo Farah and Galen Rupp. I got weepy when the winner of the 400 semi-final traded race bibs with Pistorious. The fact that I know Pistorious’ name and not the semi-final winner’s is kind of what I mean… I love an inspirational story. I’m a softie, yes, but now I wonder: does that make me a sucker?

For the past few days I’ve been chipping away at writing this, thinking about what I actually wanted to say. What’s the point? Finally, this weekend, it dawned on me that really, the ones who deserve the credit, praise, and adoration are the everyday heroes. The ones who earn the media attention (another tell-tale sign… they usually aren’t looking for it in the first place).

These guys. Or this oldie-but-never-gets-old goodie about the Hoyts.

It doesn’t even have to be big time, nationally recognized or award-winning heroes. My cousin, who has Down Syndrome, has been recognized in our local paper as a good luck charm to his younger brother’s high school hockey team. He has talked about how proud he is that his younger brother, a sophomore, was recently named team captain. Sometimes he wears the uniform and leads the team onto the ice. The players are his buds — and truly. These high school boys — teenaged athletes — take time out of their weekends to meet my cousin and his teammates on the ice, too, to help coach and mentor the Challenger League for children and young adults with developmental disabilities.

There are lots of feel-good stories and worthy heroes.

I am hopeful that maybe the Pistorious murder case was a case of mistaken identity, that at least some of my favorite Red Sox greats played clean, that Ryan Hall, Mo Farah, Kara Goucher, and Meb would settle for running their personal bests instead of sacrificing their integrity in order to win. I will always be a big sports fan, but think I’m going to start looking closer to home when trying to find that little bit of inspiration.

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