if you have to ask the question

Why does anyone care about sports? There’s a woman in the stands who cares because they’re the last thing she’s got that gives her straight answers. She used to be a cross-country skier at the elite level. She sacrificed all her teenage years to skiing long-distance trails, evening after evening with a headlamp and tears streaming from cold and exhaustion, and all the pain and all the losses, and all the things other high school kids were doing with their free time that she could never be part of. But if you were to ask her now if she regrets anything, she’d shake her head. If you were to ask what she would have done if she could go back in time, she’d answer without hesitation: “Train harder.” She can’t explain why she cares about sports, because she’s learned that if you have to ask the question, you simply wouldn’t understand her answer.

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