I recently signed up to run a half marathon. I actually signed up to run two. The second meant a good four months to train, to go from walking maybe ten kilometers a day to running twenty kilometers.
The first meant cramming for the run, and we all know you can't cram for fitness. I planned to try anyway. I figured in the worst case, I would walk the half marathon. In the best case, I would run-walk the distance in under three hours. The course time limit for the first half marathon is four hours, which is sufficient to walk quickly, so I would be set for the event.
Two good (read: hard, frustrating) weeks of training later, and I managed to roll my ankle and sprain it by walking into a pothole. Yay grade two sprain. And by "Yay" I mean "Fuck."
Hey, I can still walk the thing, right? Walk-jog-walk-jog, one can do that for 20 kilometers on a bum ankle if needed. I got this.
And then the massacre at Las Vegas happened. You can't call it anything less than a massacre.
I signed up to run my first half marathon in Las Vegas. The race route goes past the stage location where the massacre happened.
The organizers sent out an email to everyone signed up for the event which read:
Statement on the Tragic Events in Las Vegas
It is with shock and great sadness to learn of the tragedy that took place in Las Vegas on Sunday night. Our hearts and thoughts are with the victims, their families, and all of those affected. Out of respect for those impacted, including all our local partners at the City of Las Vegas, Clark County, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, and other first responder personnel, we will be waiting to provide any additional comment as it relates to our upcoming marathon. At the appropriate time, we will re-engage in a critical dialog with government agencies and law enforcement officials in Las Vegas to ensure that we are able to deliver a safe experience for our participants.
Here's the thing. No one is ever safe. At any point. We live in a world where, for the most part, violence on the scale of the Las Vegas Shootings of October 2017 (I'm going to give it a full title because 1. I don't know there won't be another shooting in Las Vegas that also gets the title of "Las Vegas Shootings" and 2. I don't know that there won't be any more shootings in this year. I'm taking a chance there won't be another grand people shooting spree of Las Vegas in October of this year.) doesn't happen very often.
In this country at least.
There have been 273 days in this year so far, and 271 days with a mass shooting, as defined as 4 people or more. So, yeah, we do live in a country where this happens, but we don't experience it in horrific detail every day. Some countries, people do. We're fortunate enough that, for the most part, we don't.
But we could. And that's the thing. We could. Any level of safety in this world is an illusion. Any level of security in this world is also somewhat of an illusion. "You could leave life right now," by your own hand, by someone else's hand, by design, by chance, by nature. We don't know when, and that uncertainty makes life both amazing and terrifying.
We crave safety. We crave security. Neither exist.
Related, hoo boy, been watching the Walking Dead. Talk about no safety, that fictional world.