In light of the recent national election there remains much to be cynical about in the American redoubt. While many on the Left feel rejuvenated, even mandated by President Obama’s re-election, a near equal number on the Right feel vindicated by the return of the House of Representatives to a Republican majority. The nascent secessionist movement underscores the deep divide in the national mood, the early eye toward 2016 – even before the sulfurous fumes of 2012 have fully dissipated – betrays the uneasy acceptance of November 6th, and next month’s fiscal cliff and the specter of an onerous sequestration – along with February’s debt-ceiling debate – promises to again cleave the body politic into a rancorous opposition.
What does this have to do with running? Not much, really, unless you seek an antidote to this growing cynicism.
All you have to do is peruse your Facebook friends to see how runners tilt easily to both political poles. And yet, running and racing themselves transcend political influence from either side. Dedication, effort, and suffering toward the furtherance of speed strips the facades of politic affiliation as they shore up the foundations of pulse and sinew now in service against that most measured and implacable foe – gravity.
As I’ve always said, get bored with life? Get a little intense. The same when cynicism creeps ahead. You don’t have to sit still and stew in it. Instead, try attending a high school cross country meet.
We can take the bitterest among us to this weekend’s Nike Cross Nationals in Portland, Oregon, or to the following weekend’s Foot Locker Nationals in San Diego, plop him amongst the young strivers gunning for cross country glory, and even the most hardened will emerge with a renewed sense hope. Continue reading