The death, at such a young age, just 40, of rugby union legend – icon – Jonah Lomu, has really upset and shaken me.
I know nothing about rugby, I’ve never followed it (though I do ‘get it’, I see the ‘beauty’, the immense skill/talent – I love sport and I do appreciate that, in rugby, there are many defining elements/aspects of sport) but I know who Jonah Lomu is/was, I remember when he appeared on the scene (hard to believe that it was over 20 years ago), he captured our imagination, not just the imagination of rugby fans. He captured the imagination of all of us who love sport (and I think that even those who are not into sport, many were awe-struck by the appearance of this man).
What has hit me, and what should hit all of us, is the fact that even the toughest boys and girls, the toughest men and women, and this guy was one big guy, they are as fragile as us mortals, that they ARE mortals. As I said to someone this morning, Jonah Lomu was built like the proverbial brick s**t house and yet he can be, and has been, felled just like any of us.
Of course, we have to exercise, we have to keep fit – while we can – we have to build our defences against the elements that try to hit us from all angles and break us down but, ultimately, no matter how big, tough and strong we are, we are frighteningly susceptible, frighteningly fragile and we can never sit back, stick our feet under the table, complacent, secure, and feel immune to the vagaries of life.
Therein, of course, lies the lesson, that because, in the end, none of us can fight, none of us can hide, for ever, we have to do what Jonah Lomu did, live life to the max while we can.
RIP, Jonah Lomu.