Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Waiting for Maickel

Irrespective of however long and shitty a day you might have had yesterday - and you have my sincere empathy if you did as I was right there with you as of 3:40 AM at my desk writing a brief on a matter with a ridiculously tight deadline - or however long and shitty a day might be on tap for you (or me for that matter) the story of Maickel Melamed shall make you smile.  

Maickel Melamed, thirty-nine years old, was the last-place finisher in Monday's Boston Marathon.  His time?  Well, let us just say that it took him approximately ten times as long to complete the course from Hopkinton to Boylston Street as it took the elite runners to do so.  But finish he did.  

Maickel Melamed is afflicted with Muscular Dystrophy.  It has attacked his body - as that insidious disease does - but it has not overwhelmed his mind, his spirit or his heart.  It took him until the wee small hours of Tuesday morning to reach the finish line, but reach it he did.  He completed a journey in darkness and in pouring rain a trek that had begun a morning earlier in daylight and in drizzle.  

If what he told reporters post-race turns out to be true and Boston was indeed his final marathon, then his marathon resume, a resume that includes marathons in New York City, Berlin, Tokyo, and Chicago, shall be quite an impressive one indeed.  A memorable run in Boston is one hell of a nice way to put a ribbon on one's marathon career, should this year's Boston Marathon indeed prove to be his last. 

His attitude is remarkable.  His inner strength and his fortitude are inspiring.  And somewhere, in a dimly-lit, hot swamp his running coach sits smiling, thinking of just how well to heart Maickel Melamed took his advice:  

The Force is strong in Maickel Melamed.  Very, very strong.  


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