Monday, October 19, 2009

Life is Unfair

Yesterday morning, I got home around noon, put my feet up, and watched TV for the next several hours. Pretty much everything went according to plan - I finished my run for the half marathon in less than my ideal time, my mom and her friend did great, I saw Maureen and my dad cheering, and I had the chance to cheer for Craig at the 26 mile mark. My stomach was not too upset at the end of the race, and by 5 o'clock, Steve and I had washed away a great quantity of our television backlog. It was a great day - the city of Detroit was alive, the sun was coming up as runners crossed over the Ambassador Bridge, the race was at maximum capacity, and people local and less local were celebrating life and health without any fear of Detroit. No fear of getting there early, walking around the streets to the starting line, running through the heart of downtown, and taking it easy on those same streets on the way back to everyone's cars.

And 3 people died.

These were people of different ages from different places running the half marathon, and they passed away at various locations along the race course. The medical examiner can not yet conclusively declare the cause of death, but each event was likely an unfortunate heart attack or a latent heart condition that manifested itself from the exertion of the run. It is impossible not to feel terrible for these people and their family and friends, and their passing is incredibly tragic. No one has died at the Detroit Marathon since 1994, and then this year on a nearly perfect day for running it happens three times. Not only was this a human tragedy, but also a geographical tragedy. Everyone is tied to the news of their locale, and here is yet another instance in which, through no likely fault of anyone, anywhere, the city of Detroit, state of Michigan, and their beleaguered people are again seen through the negative lens. There is no way to fight back or dispute the facts, just to again sit and wait for the jabs.

This morning I was listening to Howard Stern, who I believe has a firm appreciation for human life and does not take news like this lightly, but he quipped about how fast he would be able to run the Detroit Marathon just to get out of the streets (ha........ha) - another opportunity for those who do not live here and understand the acuteness of the local struggles to take some unobstructed pot shots at Michigan.

These are the types of moments that are utterly depressing to me despite my generally optimistic demeanor. A day of cheer and enthusiasm, replaced by tragedy, enhanced by insult, and what is left is completely undeserved shame. Why must I be made to be feel bad about my accomplishment and my home on a day of positive action?

With all that said, I don't really have a conclusion. Sometimes things just suck. When things suck, I am heartened by the vision of my wife asleep on the couch, TV with Steve, dinner with my family, the thought of the next video of my godson and his parents, and chasing Echo around the garage. Maybe I do have a conclusion from all this, though it is not at all original. I could write it out, but I'd like to think it is pretty clear, and I'm glad I figured it out before I hit "publish."

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