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Friday, December 18, 2009

What Can a Long Run Do? Character and a Tough Workout


I recently Tweeted "A long run shows a man's character. I've run hard on the track w/ Brad Webb. He has my vote for DuPage County Board http://votebradwebb.com/"

It occurred to me it may not be obvious to non-runners why this is, or even what I mean.

Brad is around my speed. He is a bigger guy, once a good enough football player to try out for the Chicago Bears. He played in college for Iowa, and is probably useful if I need help moving a fridge. I'm 5'6" and maybe 135 pounds, and am not the guy to call even to move your microwave. If you call three other guys, maybe.

We've run many a 400 meter interval side-by-side on Wheaton College's track. I'm lighter on my feet, and he has power. The 400, when done in repetition, sort of evens out our strengths. Do 3x3 400s, added to a warmup and all, and who a man is shows up. I can't tell on the track what he believes about this or that, but, if he's a cussing man, I'll know. If he is persistent or easily discouraged, it will be obvious. How he handles frustration, pain, and competition is clear. Turn up the Illinois heat to 80 degrees, and exhaustion is felt. That's how training works.

Brad's got specific positions, and those, certainly, are never described in brief over 200-repeats, or a 400-600-800 ladder. There's the website for that. I won't try to push an analogy (or is a metaphor in this case?) that running can tell you all about a man. It can't.

The primary is February 2. I am not a Republican, and am not sure if to vote in the primary, I need to declare a party. I'll work that out. Just the same, I am confident of Brad Webb. This is not because he is a friend; there are friends in politics I will not vote for. It is because I have sweat it out on the track and seen him when he is real and honest, and a few times with his family, and heard of his reputation around town. I have been to his home, have seen how he treats his wife and kids. Always honorably. I don't care what party a man joins so long as he is a man of integrity. I see strengths and weaknesses in each party. What matters to me is deeper than the shallow explanations I read about detractors and supporters of either party. Brad has lived it out what a good man needs to live - honor, honesty, and integrity. This won't get him off the hook next spring when we next show up at the starting line on a Thursday night, but it will get him my vote.

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