The thing about sport is that it doesn’t matter very much, yet we participate as though it matters very much indeed.
Sport allows us to push ourselves hard and to take risks that would be foolish in any aspect of real life that actually mattered. The rewards and the benefits of this can be huge, and can transfer powerfully over into our real lives.
Sport allows us to tap into glorious emotional highs and lows that would be madness in real life.
Sport is a land of make-believe that has the capacity to bring out so much that is good in ourselves.
The language of sport is universal. It’s one of the few things in our crazy, fractured, divisive world “where no participant is worried about another’s race, religion or wealth; and where the only concern is ‘Have you come to play?’”
And this is why the bombs at yesterday’s Boston marathon have made me so sad and so angry.
This weekend is the London Marathon. It feels now like an even more important event, a more powerful force for good than it usually does.
If you are running the London Marathon this weekend, run harder than you have ever run before.
If you have friends running the race for charity, give more money to their good cause than you have given before.
If you are going along to watch, cheer the runners louder than you have cheered before.
Cheer for all the runners.
Cheer for all the runners who are pushing themselves hard, pushing back their limits, inspiring others and inspiring themselves.
Cheer for all the runners, whatever their political views, personal vendettas, race, religion, nationality or economic status might be. Because there is no place in sport for any of that.
Cheer loud, run hard.