Running and Life Lessons

OK. I’ll admit it. I didn’t know that today is celebrated as National Running Day. And it didn’t appear that the Talking Heads on CNN and Fox News had much interest in heralding the day. As I chased the treadmill belt this early a.m., I couldn’t escape the chatter about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker surviving (CNN’s view of the world) or winning a great victory (Fox News) in the state’s recall election yesterday. [Big waste of time and money. IMO]

I should have run outside, hitting the concrete on what really was another glorious morning here in NE Ohio.

And then I could have concentrated on a story that teaches some valuable lessons way beyond the political intrigue and posturing in Wisconsin, Inside the Beltway and elsewhere these days.

At a track meet in Columbus, Ohio, Saturday one runner stopped and helped another make it to the finish line. Here’s from The Daily Mail:

A high school runner competing in the 3200-metre race is receiving national attention, not for winning or a feat of athleticism, but for an extraordinary act of kindness after she helped a struggling competitor finish the race.

Meghan Vogel, a 17-year-old junior at West Liberty Salem High School in western Ohio, is now being praised for her sportsmanship, and has had to deal with an overwhelming response to the now-famous photograph.

She said she appreciates the accolades but said today that she is a bit overwhelmed by the praise that has been pouring in since Saturday’s track meet in Columbus.

The 17-year-old was in last place in the 3,200-meter run as she caught up to Arlington High School sophomore Arden McMath, whose body was giving out.Instead of zipping past Ms McMath to avoid the last-place finish, Ms Vogel draped the runner’s arm around her shoulders, half-dragging and half-carrying her about 30 metres to the finish line.

Wow. In an era when pro football teams are trying to figure out how to most effectively maim opponents–and when our elected leaders are interested primarily only in their own reelection–stopping to help someone seems almost quaint.

Wonder what made Megan do it?

“It’s an honour and very humbling,” Ms Vogel told the Associated Press in a telephone interview from her West Liberty home. ‘I just thought I was doing the right thing, and I think others would have done the same.’

Not a bad life lesson.

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2 responses to “Running and Life Lessons

  1. burghthoughts

    If only we could raise a couple million more like Megan what a benefit to our country. Reminds me of the story a few years ago, I think it was a college softball game, where a young women hit a walk off HR, broke something-foot, ankle-rounding first base and the opposing players dropped their gloves and carried her around the bases, knowing full well that if she could not make it home, they would win the game. A great example of one of the founding principles that makes us a great society….180 from OWS and the rest of the “me first” generation.

    • Mark, I absolutely agree about Megan. And what’s interesting to me is that she didn’t have time to fret over the decision. She just did what she thought was right. Great for her. And I do remember the situation that you mention about the softball team. Sometimes decency and civility do win out.

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