Live. Love. Run. It's what I do.

Politics vs. Running

It’s all over tv, the radio, the billboards, and even my neighbors’ lawns. It’s impossible to escape the avalanche of campaign ads of all of these candidates running for office. These candidates, whether theyre running for president, senate, or whatever, are all trying to convince you that they’re the best option and that they are the right ones to win America.

Now let me begin by saying that I’m not a big fan of politics in general, which is why my blog is about running instead of that. It just gets to me that they say people are running for office. My frustration over politics at least partly comes from the comparison between the running I do and the running that they do.

In a cross country race, the clock is a clear measurement of how fast you are. There’s no question about it. You can’t persuade the clock to slow down a bit for you or speed up for someone else. You can’t argue with what the clock says. It is an absolute measurement of your capabilities. If you’re running and someone else is ahead of you, then you can’t argue your case. You can only speed up and try to be faster and better yourself and beat him or her. There is only one way to prove that you’re better. People’s opinions make no difference in determining the winner. It makes no difference if you have more people cheering for you, or if the runner behind you is getting more cheers. To everyone else watching, they can see who is better. It isn’t hidden behind someone’s bias or opinion. The clock says the time and no amount of propaganda or opinions can change what it says.

In the presidential race, all you hear are claims from both sides that they are better as they tear each other down. Contradictions, bias, and propaganda make it hard to tell what’s true and what’s not. In the debates, both sides make claims about the other, and they both say the other is lying. So which way is it? Which one is lying and which one is telling the truth? I’d much rather hear the hard cold facts than the skewed, biased arguments from either side. I want the media to tell it like it is, instead of how they want it to be.

This is why politics annoy me so much. I want it to be easy to make an informed decision about which candidate is better to run the country. The contradictory claims from both sides aren’t helping me or anyone else in America. I am a runner and I prefer to see one obvious winner, and one, or many, that are obviously not as strong or fast. In cross country, there can be some battling for spots, but in the end there’s nothing to debate. Some people can say that they’re faster and can make all the claims that they want, but those claims aren’t going to be the ones that make their way to the list of results or the newspaper. The results will give straightforward facts. Why can’t politics be the same way??

Go America

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Dear Michelle Obama, I’m Still Hungry

This weekend I got this amazing new headband that says “I run so I can eat” and I’ve been wearing it almost constantly since then! It describes my life!! I run. I eat. I go to school and sleep when possible, but basically I just eat and run and eat some more. If I didn’t run, I would get so fat because of how much I eat! But on the other hand, there’s no way I could run like I do without food to fuel me through the hard workouts. That’s why the new Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act that’s now being enforced in our schools makes me so upset.

Signed into law by the president in 2010 and encouraged by Michelle Obama, the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 sets new regulations on school lunches, such as calling for more fruits and vegetables to be served, skim and 1% milk, and lower fat and sodium content.  I appreciate this effort to have healthier lunches. I love my grapes and carrots, I prefer skim milk to 2%, and I try to eat less fat and empty calories whether I am at school or at home. But then the act also sets the required number of calories to be between 750 and 850 calories, and no more than 12 ounces of protein (meat or meat alternative) per week. While this may be just fine for your average non-athletic student, every student is not the same! We do not all need the same amount of calories! I run cross country and when we have our 10 mile days, I’m burning 1000 extra calories at practice! I need my calories to get me through it and the protein to help my muscles recover! I should not be distracted in the middle of my run by my stomach growling since I didn’t get enough food at lunch! What about our football players or swimmers or volleyball players?? I’m sorry Michelle Obama, but this plan isn’t cutting it. We are unique. Don’t you encourage diversity? All students are not one-size-fits-all, and that applies to every aspect of life, including my lunch.

A school in Kansas made this video parody of Fun’s song “We Are Young,” titled “We Are Hungry.”

I believe they speak for all of us. We are hungry. We need food to get us through practice. If they don’t feed us enough healthy food at school, we will have to find something else, and there’s a good chance that it won’t be as healthy. Yes, keep the whole grains, the fruit and veggies, and the skim milk. Just give us more so we can make it through all 10 miles this afternoon.

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Julie Yip-Williams

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