Managing the Difference

25/05/2016

The only requirement that should be considered when doing a marathon is the participant's willpower because, in the end, that's what it's all about...

The only requirement that should be considered when doing a marathon is the participant's willpower because, in the end, that's what it's all about...


But there are people who don't understand this and attempt to keep us from participating for the wrong and unfair reasons, just like the Berlin's Marathon organizers.
Indeed, they told us we couldn't participate!

Therefore, trying to take part in marathons is not just about will power but also, overcoming the regulations that don't consider the true meaning of it and managing the difference.

But as it turns out, people are all different and we strive not to be sheep in a flock whereas thinking individuals with genetics, experiences, and different tastes. That is the human condition. And what do we want? Move past on how we are, human beings, to make easier the management of corporations and governments?  Or adapt them to human reality? We obviously argue that the system has to be the one who understands the reality and not the reality that needs to be annulled in order to be adapted to the system.

So then: damn rules! Let's change the rules to adapt better to the differences inherent in human beings. Let´s change the system to make it fairer. And yes, this might represent more thinking because they would have to listen, understand and find an appropriate solution. But in real world, only then you will achieve effectiveness and, by the way, justice too.

And there are lots of examples, infinite, I'd say. But here's a small sample and you will see that this is not so easy to go running around the world with a disabled child. As It turns out, in some places there are rules that pigeonhole participants in certain categories and, guess what?!, there are no categories for disabled or categories of disabled persons who cannot propel themselves. If you have your back so battered like Atena´s, which prevents you from making a sustained effort to move the chair and therefore, you need the help of someone to push it when it comes to long distances and/or obstacles as tiny as a bump in the middle of the road of those used to slow circulation, then you are in trouble. Exactly, unfortunately these peculiarities are not covered by the rules and, for example; do not allow us to do the marathon in Berlin!

In big cities as New York or Boston, however, they have defined a new category, the Duo Teams precisely for such situations: when you need someone to push the wheelchair. Much better. At the end of the day, who thinks that doing a marathon being pushed by another is an advantage? Unfortunately who wrote the standard decided it arbitrariness: they will only be allowed to participate if both participants of the Duo Teams are adults. Perhaps they thought they did not want to fill the race of parents with young children but we are talking about the disabled and there are not that many. Or maybe they just simply moved the standard minimum age of 18 that applies to runners to disabled as if they were also putting the heart to the limit. What a shame.

Fortunately, there are some places where organizations show some ability to manage the difference, such as marathons of Barcelona, Pamplona, and Athens. Bravo for understanding that there is such a varied casuistry that in order to make it work, just setting standard rules to manage it won't do. Bravo for understanding that in order to manage the difference, one must think about each particular case to find an appropriate solution. Bravo for understanding that, after all, the marathon is the festival of sports, a recognition of the effort and willpower of the participants.