Word Wednesday

wwindefatigable in·de·fat·i·ga·ble


incapable of being tired out; not yielding to fatigue; untiring.

It was difficult to choose a word for today. Like everyone, my heart has been heavy for Boston and my thoughts have been consumed by images and stories of the victims in Boston.  No word seems adequate. Every word is insufficient.

I narrowed the focus and decided on word that defines the spirit of a Boston Marathon athlete  - indefatigable.

A marathoner's mind tells them, "keep going," when everything else is telling them to stop.

The bombing in Boston comes just a few months after the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, the Clackamas Town Center shooting, the Aurora theatre shooting and countless other tragedies which occur daily, but are not as publicized as these horrific events.

It feels as though we've just started to heal from the last tragedy, and now the wounds have been re-opened and our sense of security has been shattered once again.  It would be a natural emotion for us to want to retreat, shut down, and shut ourselves off from other people. It would be understandable for us to be tired.  Now,  more than ever,  we need to channel our inner marathoner (whether or not we've ever gone the 26.2 miles) and persist. We must live life the way a marathon athlete trains.  We need to tell ourselves, "keep going," even though everything else is telling us to stop. We must be indefatigable.

A runner reaches a point in a marathon when their body feels as though it could betray them at any moment and it feels like the only rational and logical thing to do would be to sit down and rest a spell.  The marathoner's mind will again persist and declare, "keep going, finish strong."

A marathoner, barely hanging on and fighting their own internal battle, will encounter another runner who is also clearly just hanging on and the two will draw strength from one another.  They will lift each other up and push one another. One will say to the other, "keep going, finish strong," and the other will say in return, "you've got this."  They will persist. They are indefatigable.

It is this spirt with which we need to lift each other up and encourage our friends, family, and community to "keep going."

We can't give up yet.  We have to believe in each other.  We can't grow weary or tired  - we have to keep going. We have to live to honor those who are no longer here. We have to resist the desire to isolate ourselves and instead,  we must keep going.  We must embody the spirit of a marathon athlete - we must be indefatigable.

If you see someone along the way, who is struggling just a little more than you, extend a hand and an encouraging word.  Tell them they're looking strong and eventually they will believe it.   Keep going. Indefatigable.  Keep going.