Friday, November 20, 2015

Code Violation

The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.
What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.
It is dearness only that gives everything its value. 
I love the man that can smile in trouble, 
That can gather strength from distress and
Grow brave by reflection. 
'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, 
But he whose heart is firm 
And whose conscience approves his conduct,
Will pursue his principles unto Death. 
- Thomas Paine

I suppose that if you are not a runner, then stories such as this one do not cause you to clench your jaw in anger.  They infuriate me.  

They infuriate me because of how much work goes into preparing to run in a marathon.  They infuriate me because I know that my running companera, Gidg, spent the better part of four months training to run in this year's Marine Corps Marathon but ended up having to sit the race out after injuring her back rather badly less than three weeks before the race.  Having won entry through the MCM's lottery, she was heartbroken that she was not able to participate.  If this gentleman did that of which he is accused of having done, then his action is a stick in the eye of everyone who completed the race as well as those - like Gidg - who registered to run but were unable to do so due to injury. 

The lengths to which human shall go in an effort to secure an unfair advantage over another never cease to amaze me.  I have many failings as a person.  Too many to list in one sitting here - not because of embarrassment but, rather, because of memory.  I am afraid that I would leave more than one out of my recitation simply because there are so many and recalling all of them is difficult.  However, conspicuous by its absence from my list of personal failings is "cheater".  I am - I suppose - my parents' child in that respect.  I would rather lose a fight fairly than win it by cheating.  

At day's end, presuming this faux marathoner did what he is alleged to have done, the person he screwed the most is himself.  I am a decidedly average marathon runner.  Hell, I am likely grading on the curve when I elevate myself to the rank of "decidedly average".  That said, the feeling of satisfaction - and relief - associated with the simple act of crossing the finish line upon the conclusion of a 26.2 mile journey is one that is almost indescribable.  And it is unforgettable.

I shall never understand what motivates someone to cheat at this endeavor, thus consciously and willfully depriving himself of that feeling.   


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