When we watched the fireworks on New Year’s Eve nobody thought that 2020 would go into the history books the way that it is happening. In the midst of it all we might have felt afraid, alone or disoriented by the shadows hanging over our world. The COVID-19 pandemic took away some of our loved ones, jobs and income, social relations and plans that we were so looking forward to. The time of social unrest and protests has brought forward the issues that our society still didn’t reconcile with, such as racial injustice and inequality. In times of darkness we always have to strive to seek hope and light.
Runners have seen the COVID-19 pandemic change the way we race. Virtual races have become a reality. I ask myself, “Are we ever going to run races again?” There is nothing like the energy felt at the start line, when you are about to hit the road into the unknown, running a race—life has become a marathon. I believe the current circumstances can create opportunities, rather than being seen only as hardships. It’s like “hitting the wall” during the race—when you feel overwhelmed by physical exhaustion, doubts and mental struggles. But you know that, in order to finish the race, you have to “push” through it. In those moments, what was always helpful for me, was visualizing the finish line.
I believe there is a “finish line” in this current crisis. I believe the country will be unified again. I believe we will find a vaccine. I believe we will run races again. And we will do all of these things, together, with a greater appreciation and gratitude. Because there is no way of going back to normal; there is only the way to move forward.