Years ago, I met a young Israeli named Asa. Just for fun, I asked him the famous questionnaire that James Lipton of “Inside Actor’s Studio” always asks his guests at the end of the segment, written by Bernard Pivot. Among the questions, I asked him what his favorite sound was.
He said that when he was in the military, they were all piled into a bus at around 4 or 5 in the morning to go to their training or to their posts. The drive was about an hour so everyone took advantage of the time to sleep. His favorite sound was the sound of the door when it closed because he knew that was when he could sleep.
I asked what sound he hated the most.
The sound of the door opening, he had said.
He was about 25 or 26 at the time we met.
That story always stayed with me because the lives we lived were so different. He probably thought me frivolous. I don’t know. It was a little overwhelming to meet someone younger who had lived that difficult life. Little by little, however, I feel that people from my country are beginning to see what that feels like.
As most of you know, I am a triathlete and the Boston Marathon Bombing really hit home. I guess it’s just knowing that people I love or care about could be at one of my events and come back hurt or not come back at all.
It just gets me in the gut.
Fight or flight. I suppose I want to take flight. Hide. Find a jungle and get lost in it. There are lots around. It’d be easy.
But I wasn’t built that way. I was taught long ago that life is for living. I was not taught to hide. You square up, eye to eye with your problem and stare it down.
And you carry on.
I don’t promote negativity. I don’t believe in it. But I do believe in extending a hand. In holding it. In catching tears on my shirtsleeve.
And if ever a person needed a hand, I think it would be now. And I would hold that hand and run. Not from fear but for life. To live it. And to let them know, their hand in mine, that they would never be alone.