Role Models

Posted by martin.parnell |

Next Events:

Cook Islands Quest 100 (Quest #4)

  • Friday Sept. 21st 2012

  • Location: Rarotonga, Cook Islands, Pacific Ocean

TriOil-Soccer Quest 42 (Quest #5)

  • Friday Oct. 5th to Sunday Oct. 7th 2012

  • Location: Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre, Cochrane, Alberta

On Saturday, I received an email from my neighbour Paul who lives a few door down from me. I don't know Paul very well but his email really made me think. I he brings up some excellent points and captures the essence of what sport is really about. Here is some of what he said:

"Howdy, Martin: - Paul here, a few doors up from you.

Like thousands - or more - I'm a fan of yours, watching the media coverage on your activities and reading all you write (Rotarians and Habitat, for example).

I especially like your being a role model - or even just someone to admire, if not follow - to young folk. That achievement has no material value, perhaps, the dividends are legion, shall we say, far into the future.

I was brought up by fairly strict cosmopolitan European parents who emphasised that we must, as kids, respect our elders. When I finally became an adult in the "Beatnik" era, I was rather disappointed there were far fewer individuals in the adult world that deserved any respect whatsoever. I'm not sure it has become any better in the 50 or so years since then.

A great deal has been written about you, including your physique which I understand has been monitored at one time by U of C. Your metabolism had reached Lance Armstrong-like efficiency few of us ever encounter.

I'm not concerned about Lance Armstrong - his cancer achievements can't be rebutted, and I was always leery about such prima-donna-ism and commercialistic grossness slithering among the various sports in any case. But I do wonder about kids' attitude nowadays: are many now convinced you can't get anywhere with anything unless you dope yourself the right way and be sneaky enough to get away with it?

Perhaps you might consider writing about that. Not necessarily about what to say to youngsters about this, but you have had considerable interface, and ear-to-the-ground feedback from youngsters and some of us would be curious what they really think. Naturally, writing about Lance Armstrong in any vein, shall we say, may be like trying to gargle nitro-glycerine safely (your mining experience could put that into perspective). But I wonder what the next generation or two would think about all this.

Best wishes,

Paul and Angela

I think Paul hits the nail on the head. The real role models are people you know, mum's and dad's, brother's and sister's, grandma's and grandpa's, and all the sport and activity coaches who give countless hours of their time. It's not about what you get, it's about what you give.

Finally, I must give a huge congratulations to one of my all time hero's, Sister Madonna Buder. Yesterday, Sister Madonna completed the Ironman Canada in 16hrs 32min 00sec. That in itself is not remarkable however the fact that Sister Madonna is 82 years young is. She now holds the World Record for the oldest person ever to complete an Ironman Triathlon.

Long may she reign.

Quote of the Day

"There's only one way to fail, and that's to quit."

Brian Hays

Sister Madonna Buder. At 82, the oldest person ever to complete an Ironman triathlon.

Sister Madonna Buder

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