We’ve seen it through the full of our years,
from first steps to fully-engaged gears,
It rises from the need,
to engage with one’s speed,
challenges we might otherwise fear.
It’s the battle of will against limits,
the fatigue that makes the willing give way,
as exhalations that like anger grow stronger,
and fitness is drawn down and decays.
It’s an ages-old struggle that’s waged,
Defining whether it’s a fool or a sage,
Who would think that it matters,
Whether soles are in tatters,
For a medal or a result on a page.
Yet it remains those certain men’s quests,
to discover their limits and bests,
Using time against distance, with its utter insistence,
on revealing who is damned and who’s blessed.
So they gather into an inexorable force,
Irrespective of ethnicity or source,
And become a mighty power,
purposefully heading for that hour,
when completion will remove all remorse.
But that’s the game in a nutshell, if you will,
To determine who best fits the bill,
As champion racer, the trophy and wreath taker,
The man with the superior skill.
But I’m a purist, if you want to know where I stand,
I love the journey, not just the promised land,
Yes, the finish it’s worthy,
But it’s the friendships that serve me,
whether as racer or simply a fan.
That’s why I’m hopeful as I gaze up ahead,
At a future some see freighted with dread,
Viewing only what separates,
Rather that which generates,
The common ground we all seek to tread.
So come now and join in this throng,
Whose cadence is the simplest of songs,
One foot ‘fore the other,
Till strangers become brothers,
And the revelry lasts all the night long.