Here at Cyclocross Magazine, as with everywhere else in the country, the mood has been subdued in the past two days. In this column, one of our regular writers attempts to string a few of his thoughts together, and we join him in offering our thoughts and prayers to all of those impacted by this tragedy.

by Lee Waldman

I went to bed last night, the night before our Colorado State Cyclocross Championships, not thinking about racing my ’cross bike, but about senseless violence. I woke up this morning still thinking about it. And for the last hour I’ve listened to reports on NPR while simultaneously reading the morning issue of The Denver Post.

Now, while I should be applying embrocation, loading bikes and dogs into the car and mentally readying myself to race today, I’m struggling. Perhaps it’s because of what I do for a living — teach — possibly it’s simply basic human empathy, but I’m sad beyond comprehension this morning.

I’ve written more than one column about the importance of putting cyclocross racing in perspective. It is, after all, what we do for enjoyment, not who we are. This morning I’m hoping that what I do for enjoyment might possibly buffer the realization that there is still such cruelty and violence in our world.

I’ve been studying The Holocaust with my students for the past week. Their overwhelming question when thinking about that level of depravity is, “Why?” This morning I’m asking the same question. Sadly, there never has been, nor will there ever be a completely acceptable answer to the question.

The news is already full of calls to reexamine gun control laws and I have my own opinions on all of that, but this magazine and this column isn’t the forum for that discussion. Nor is it the forum to ponder how and why someone so young, only 20 years old, can experience so much pain that they need to strike out at so many innocent people.

This is the place, however, to remind ourselves that there still is good in the world. This sport, with all of it’s frustrations and challenges, still brings us all joy. After all, why would we punish our bodies the way that we do? It seems discounting in some ways to compare cyclocross to a school shooting of such magnitude and that’s certainly not my intent. I do hope that getting on the bike this morning might help me, and possibly some of you, to buffer the pain that I’m sure many of us are feeling this morning.

So, pray for the parents and the children, be thankful for who you are and what you have.

If you ride this morning I hope you have a good one.