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ISSUE 60 – Benchmarks & Milestones

A note from the Editor

‘I’ve never lost a game, I just ran out of time.’
– Michael Jordan

I know a thing or two about a thing or two, but neither of those things happens to be sports. I boxed, back in the day. But even that was out of a kind of obligation to my body; something to keep my thoughts on their toes and my fears in their place – a kind of catharsis via cardio.                         

Boxing is a lonely sport, too. Each bout is an exercise in standing alone punching at nothing but brick walls – brick walls with mean thoughts and clenched fists of their own.

All of which is to say that I’ve never felt a part of the collective fervour that accompanies the football match or game of rugby. I’ve never found myself woven into the social, historic, or emotional tapestry of any team competition. Not on account of any spoilsport scorn, you understand, but instead out of a sheer, almost insurmountable indifference toward the whole endeavour.

I did, however, catch a good portion of both the Olympics and the Paralympics this year. I saw more of it than I’ve ever seen before. In many ways, I think I saw it for the first time.

I saw years of training and discipline and grit and gall all boiled down to minutes of electric, kinetic feats of strength and skill and courage. I saw the human form in its myriad makeups, unhindered by genetic or physical boundary or barrier, free to find its own way to victory. I saw glory. I saw defeat. I saw the awesome beauty in both. I saw Olympians literally and metaphorically held up by the strength and humility of their opponents. I saw milestones set. I saw records broken. I saw the impossible occur on a daily basis. I saw entire nations rally in a collective optimism scarcely conceivable this time last year. What I didn’t see was anything to be indifferent about. 

So here’s to milestones. What better place to celebrate them than here, in the 60th issue of The Essential Journal.