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Sayonara Tokyo, Shalom Tel Aviv

After weeks and weeks of training, I found out today that the Tokyo Marathon was cancelled.

I am extremely devastated, although I know that this is the ultimate first world problem, and preventing a further spread of the coronavirus is ultimately much more important.

Throughout my time in London, I used the Tokyo Marathon as my light at the end of the tunnel. I had a goal to look forward to, a trip to plan. It kept me somewhat optimistic during a time when I felt that I had few options. Again, logically I know this isn’t true, and I chose to spend those four months training for a marathon. I could have done something else. But that’s how anxiety works, folks! It’s not grounded in logic.

Last week, after a day full of anxiety and tears, I decided to be as proactive as possible. The Tokyo Marathon was supposed to be March 1, 2020. The Tel Aviv Marathon is February 28, 2020. Same weekend (since the Israeli weekend is Friday-Saturday). I decided to register for the Tel Aviv Marathon as a form of insurance. See, if the Tokyo Marathon was cancelled, it meant the health risk was great enough that Lior and I probably wouldn’t go to Japan. That meant I’d be in Israel…and be able to run the Tel Aviv Marathon instead.

Because as devastating as it is to not go to Japan, it would be even more devastating to throw away months of successful, injury-free training. The Tel Aviv Marathon is not the Tokyo Marathon…but it is something. Plus, as a Tel Aviv resident, I was able to get a slight discount on the marathon entry fee…so instead of paying $90, I paid $72. I’ll pretend this $18 difference is significant…after all, in Hebrew numerology, 18 is חי/Chai, meaning life. Life goes on, I’ll run a marathon and still have a meaningful experience.

There are some other silver linings: I’ll be able to vote in the upcoming elections, Lior and I will be able to attend his office’s Purim party, and I won’t have to potentially quarantine myself for two weeks upon returning–during most of my uncles’ upcoming visit to Israel. It softens the blow a little…and like I said, life goes on.

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