Terrible Tragedy

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Inscription on a bridge in Glasgow I found when running: “All greatness stands firm in the storm”

Glasgow has been devastated by a terrible accident where a lorry overturned and killed six people, injuring eight others.

It is a terrible incident to occur at any time, which is compounded by the proximity to Christmas when focus is so heavily set on family.

This news is troubling for anyone, and I think that the response in Sydney last week shows the extent of outpouring that will precipitate this tragedy.

My decision now is to determine the way forward:

  • Proceed to Glasgow as planned with an intention to run 28 December
  • Delay arrival to run on 31 December and bridge the New Year
  • Travel to another city in UK to run

I havent decided either way at this point, but welcome your input. What would you do? What is your advice?


8 thoughts on “Terrible Tragedy

    Trish Jean said:
    December 23, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    Hey Matt, that’s such sad news. My advice is that you should firstly listen to how you’re feeling. This is another event that is commanding some attention and if you are already sitting with some grief at this time then it can compound it, and you’ve already found yourself having reactions that don’t necessarily sit comfortably with you (but are perfectly normal) as per your blog on moving on. We don’t always know how to be with grief. I remember insisting on going to play cricket the morning after my mother passed away. One of the older girls said to me “I’m really sorry”. I was confused as to why she was apologising and replied “that’s okay, it’s not your fault”. I had no idea of the social norms that tend to pop up around death and can laugh at myself now, but it does speak to how unclear it can all be in terms of how we should feel, what we should be doing etc. And that’s without taking other people into account! And then there’s the exposure we have due to the media, which has given us all heightened feelings and responses in the last couple of difficult weeks.
    I think you should make this about you, do you want to go there and run now or wait or would you feel more focused running in a different location? I don’t think it materially changes your intentions and purpose if you want change things up a bit. I think you should keep your focus on what you are doing and try and be in touch with yourself and trust your sense of what to do. There will be folk in Glasgow, and other places, who will be grieving, and it doesn’t hurt to think about that a bit and wish them well, send them a prayer, whatever acknowledgement we like to make. And then move on and do your thing where and when you are comfortable with it in terms of your own self – any of those three options you propose above are good ones.

      Pathfinder responded:
      December 23, 2014 at 8:26 pm

      Thanks Trish- great to hear your thoughts. My feeling is that I should stick with the plan, for all the reasons you outline. There is that quote I wrote of on the old railway bridge across the Clyde which has the words taken from Plato’s Republic: “All greatness stands firm in the storm” inscribed on it by a poet in the 1990’s I think. The expression is also translated by another poet as “for all great things are perilous and, as it’s said, beautiful things are hard”. For me, both those interpretations affirm the essence of this quest, as well as reflect a call for resilience among the Glaswegians. Thanks for the feedback. So important for me. Much appreciated.

    pengenie said:
    December 23, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    You’re so welcome. Those interpretations are just grand aren’t they? Go gently, with your inner strength firm within.

      Pathfinder responded:
      December 23, 2014 at 9:21 pm

      Onwards! I’m going to make them into a shirt to run in for Glasgow.

    pengenie said:
    December 23, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    Awesome idea! I look forward to seeing the photos!

      Pathfinder responded:
      December 23, 2014 at 9:34 pm

      Actually, each run has had a ‘costume theme’ unintentionally at the beginning. In Port Moresby, I was wondering what I should wear in order not to get hassled on the streets, and it was on Independence Day I was running. Everyone was wearing PNG colours and flags of their province. So I dressed in team colours as well, and it stuck. People loved it. In New Delhi, I wore a kutra pyjama, and in China a gong fu uniform. In Seoul, I stitched my own shirt with a design I wanted by had myself. I was making the final stitches as I was on the train to the stadium. I learnt a lot from that one!

    pengenie said:
    December 23, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    Gee you have some great layers to the stories of this adventure! I watched the video about the running man and was really impressed that you produced your own unique shirt – clearly you like a challenge lol

      Pathfinder responded:
      December 23, 2014 at 9:47 pm

      Glutton for punishment! A sane person would have quit a long time ago!

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