News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Huntsville runners give lesson on competition

As a society, we are terrible at educating our children about competition.

Examples are everywhere.

The most competitive, and sometimes violent, people at Little League games are invariably the parents.

Many professional athletes down steroids and worse to help them beat opponents. They will take cheap shots in the hopes of causing their opponents injury.

Spectators hurl bottles at opposing teammates.

Children watch all this, learn it and, eventually, replicate it.

We hope children noticed an article in the sports section about Lori Foy and Don Laney. They are competitive people who kept things in perspective. They are ideal role models for the next generation.

The two were running a 6.2-mile race Monday in Huntsville. Ahead of them, half way through the race, a fit 52-year-old collapsed. Ms. Foy, a nurse, stopped running to check on him, as did Mr. Laney.

The fallen man was unresponsive and the two administered CPR until an ambulance arrived.

The fallen man's wife said, "It was a blessing that she was running right behind him. Otherwise, he would not be here."

It is also a blessing that the two runners understood the limits of responsible competition. As Ms. Foy put it, "It was just a race. The guy's life was more important."

Ms. Foy and Mr. Laney ended their interrupted race with lousy times. What they won, though, was gratitude from a man who would have died but for their help.

What we won as a society was a rare lesson to our children. Competition is fun and healthy, but we need to know its limits.

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