Pardon, pardon, dear readers. A brief hiatus for me whilst on a week's vacation, a post for another time. I'll get back into the swing of things, I'm sure. Tonight I had some observations which would not wait, meditations on Olympic sport and the limits of human capability.
I caught the semifinals of the men's 400m tonight. It is significant because lane 5 was occupied by Oscar Pistorius, the double-amputee runner from South Africa with blades instead of legs, below the knees. Anyone who has paid attention knows most of his story, so I won't repeat that here. Suffice to say, I was fascinated by the sight of this man who is not quite like many men, running as fast as he can on prosthetics, in the premier sporting event of human history.
I wanted him to win, but alas, he did not. He finished last and approximately two seconds behind the man who did win, Kirani James of Grenada. I was disappointed, but not overly affected. I was about to turn away, thinking of other things when something amazing happened that put a lump in my throat.
Kirani James, a man possessed of "regular" legs, asked Oscar Pistorius to trade name cards. The sight of them exchanging the papers and a hug put small tears in my eyes.
I stayed put, entranced by the sight of this man who has had no lower legs since he was a child, yet got it in his head that he was going to run. Run, not just like the rest of us. But run against the fastest people in the world. I thought, "This is a man with grit. With steel."
That he did not win is not the most important thing to take away from this race. At least not for us regular mortals. The thing I will remember is that I must stop thinking I can't run with the best, something that will certainly be true if I don't even try.
I should run. We should run. There is no way for us to know how good we can be if we don't cast aside the things we fear will hold us back. We should all be Oscar Pistorius...and run, no matter what.