Nadkarni: Tragedy at Boston Marathon affects everyone

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Nadkarni: Tragedy at Boston Marathon affects everyone

Rohan Nadkarni, Online Sports Editor

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Forgive me if this column is all over the place, but as I wrote it, I too was struggling to comprehend the carnage in Boston.

Last October, my friend Gideon Resnick ran the Chicago Marathon. You may know Gideon from his myriad extracurriculars, ridiculous outfits or time as a Daily columnist. I know him as the goofy kid from my peer advising group who certainly could never be that popular.

When Gideon ran the marathon last fall, I was inspired. So much so that just in the last week, I told him that in our senior year, it would be my dream to run the marathon with him.

But all I could think about on Monday was what if we never got that chance.

It’s those kinds of thoughts that cloud my mind whenever a tragedy like this one occurs. Every day we work so hard to protect ourselves, internally and externally, be it from disease or injury.

But in one instant, all that we do to help ourselves can be ruined by the acts of others, and it can happen at a finish line, a movie theater or even a school.

I like to cover sports because they’re simple. Sure, there’s lots of emotion, and many stories can be told, but only in the rarest assignments do we have to deal with tragedy. I would have never imagined it possible for there to be acts so heinous at an event as innocent as a marathon.

It’s also common in these situations to be angry. Angry that a bombing could even occur. Angry that justice will not be served right away. And of course, it’s nearly universal to be overcome with sadness.

However, when I see our firefighters, policemen or any other ordinary person pushing their limits to help others, it also makes me proud. It reassures me that the good people in this world outnumber the bad. I have a friend back in Florida right now studying to be a fireman, and it could be him saving lives one day.

For me, that makes it important to realize our degree of separation from these horrible events are very small. We may think it’s impossible to be involved in such a tragedy, but one day it could be us, our friends or our loved ones on the front lines of an attack.

And it’s tempting to want to crawl into a safe space, and tell yourself you’ll never leave.

But we can’t fear life.

I don’t know if I ever will run that marathon with Gideon. When I brought up the idea to him, I’m not sure how seriously he took my suggestion. He told me he plans to run the marathon every year he can — he just missed qualifying for the Boston Marathon last fall — and that I’m welcome to join him.

And I don’t blame him for his less-than-emotional response; after all, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to determine I’m not exactly in marathon shape.

But I do know that in the fall of 2014, I plan on being at that finish line one way or another. Whether it’s cheering on my friend or crossing the line myself, I’ll be there.

I won’t fear life.