Welcome to Open Court, the newsletter and platform space where we explore the things we need to talk about in sports and life. I'm Joanne C. Gerstner, a sports writer, author, decent tennis player, cat lover and the girl who is waiting for spring. Thanks for coming along for the ride.
I see you, hear you, and thank you. It seems Tuesday’s Open Court really resonated with you, as I am still sorting through your heartfelt thoughts, emotional stories, and shared connection. My dear friend Jen’s love of running, and my clear dislike of her favorite hobby, has turned into a lovely discussion in several spots on Facebook.
A lot of you hate running too! Yay! I am allowing that a lot of you love running, and you want to get the rest of us into the good world. I appreciate the thought. I still reject it. I am OK with running intervals, but no longer than 10 minutes. That is the limit of my patience span. John Peel is the master of getting me to run longer than I want to. But even his sunny disposition cannot get me over 10 minutes. When the timer is up, it is up.
In the wake of Tuesday, many of Jen’s friends privately shared their stories about her asking them to run too. I knew I was not the only one who was being drawn into Jen’s web of running. It has been fun to compare notes, laugh, express our continued sense of loss, and keep Jen’s beautiful memory alive. Running is clearly a deep-rooted passion, and I see how Jen wanted to share that love with us. Unfortunately, some of us don’t share - or can’t return - the love for running. Them’s the facts.
I wanted to share a few comments, acknowledge YOUR AMAZINGNESS, and also let you know of the many times you moved me to smiles and tears.
Also, if you want to add your thoughts - please do - down below. I love hearing from you.
Here is what you said:
Jennifer R. - “I read your essay and just smiled, because your story matches mine. One of my friends from work was just diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. And he is a big runner. Our group in the department decided we would run a team 10K for him, and choose the same crazy shoes to show our support. I’ve never been into running before, and I really don’t like it. But I will do this for Alex. I think us doing this for him matters in his recovery. So that you for what you wrote. I laughed with you about the running.”
Christie Montanbeau Schonsheck - “My best friend, starting in 2nd grade, was the victim of domestic violence at the age of 23 (15 years ago). She was a runner - she loved it - I hated it. I took pride in my 0.0 I don’t run bumper sticker. Fast forward 13 years after she left me - I started to run & part of me felt it was 1 more way to keep her memory alive. Thanks for sharing & so sorry for your loss.
Jennifer Whalen - Thanks for sharing! I loved reading this. Happy you have found a way to keep her close to you.
Mark Slaters - I have a love-hate relationship with running: I hate running, but I love my wife. That’s our standard joke. But seriously, she asked me to run with her, so we could spend some time together, safely, during the pandemic. I really never really ran before, and I don’t consider myself an athlete. My wife, on the other hand, has run since high school. So she is good. She loves it. We started slowly with this, and I tried to feel what she felt about running. It’s now been close to 18 months, and I don’t like running. But I love her. We go and I do this for her, and we have some nice chats while we run. I fully understand the conflict. I wish you all the best with your running.
Other happy stuff!
I am very curious about Sunday’s Grammy awards show, which will be an in-person affair from Las Vegas. BTS is nominated as best pop duo/group for "Butter" and will be performing. The guys have frequently said over the years that performing at the Grammy’s - and winning the award - are big career goals. Yoongi has flat out discussed it in his solo songs. I am happy they will be guaranteed to achieve at least a piece of that.
They technically performed at last year’s show, doing Dynamite in a taped piece from Seoul since they could not come to the U.S. because of COVID-19 protocols.
This is a great behind the scenes, aka a BTS bts, on their Grammy 2021 experience:
This year, BTS is live, on site in Vegas. But, their big performance will not be easy. Jin has his left hand in a cast, after injuring tendons in his index finger and having corrective surgery on March 19. Then Hobi, still in Seoul, went down with a sore throat that was diagnosed as COVID on March 25. He just got out of quarantine two days ago. He will be flying to the U.S. tomorrow. And now there is JK, who came to Vegas last Sunday ahead of the rest of BTS (they came Monday)...was diagnosed with COVID and is now in isolation. He will get out, hopefully, tomorrow.
(If you are scoring at home, yes, BTS is now 7 for 7 in having COVID since December. JK memorably bragged two weeks ago that he had superimmunity and had not caught it yet. Sorry, JK, you’re actually human. BTS is fully vaccinated and boosted, BTW.)
Not the ideal scenario for prepping to throw down a huge, memorable performance at the Grammy’s. BTS has built a big reputation for show-stopping award stages.
They go big, and really push themselves for spectacle.
It is going to be interesting to see how Jin’s injury, and now JK and Hobi’s recovery from COVID, will impact what BTS does. They’re coming into this as the hottest act in the world, with four upcoming sold out concerts on tap in Vegas. This is their time and space to bask in their reserved respect and appreciation from their peers.
I am hoping they can pull off the big moment they have been dreaming of.
See you Tuesday.
Open Court publishes on Tuesdays and Fridays, bringing you the stuff we need to talk about with author and sports journalist Joanne C. Gerstner.
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