Posted by: David D. Daggett | March 3, 2008

Slowing Down Slowly

Slowing Down Slowly

     Frank Shorter may be the greatest distance runner in American history. He is certainly one of the biggest legends in the sport. We were fortunate to have him as the featured speaker for the 30th anniversary dinner for our local track club.


     Cindy and I were quite taken by Frank. He is a graduate of Yale who went on to get a law degree while training for the Olympics at the same time. Frank is quite articulate, personable, and seems to have a keen awareness about himself.

     Frank shared inside stories about the 1972 Olympics where he won the gold medal in the marathon, and where the Palestinian terrorists killed Israeli athletes. He was able to tell very moving inside stories of the experience. It was quite emotional.

     He shared a number of athletic and life lessons with the group. The first was that as we age we need to stay fit so that we slow down as slowly as possible. Since I am right at the point of beginning the down side this was quite intriguing to me, and Cindy and I enjoyed discussing this issue with him after the talk.

     In the 1972 Olympics Frank had a plan, and stuck to the plan instead of “reacting” based on emotion or pressure of the moment. Sticking to the plan resulted in a gold medal. This lesson probably applies to me in everyday life.

     Frank discussed how he likes the comradery and social aspect of running even today. He said that on group runs folks don’t know, or really care, what someone does for a living or their status in life. They care about the person and the relationship. Certainly this is another good lesson.

     Now 60 years old, Frank is still a great ambassador and supporter of sport in general. Of particular interest to him is anti-doping initiatives. Frank is involved in these efforts and is optimistic about the future of running in particular, and sport in general, for our country on a worldwide competitive basis.

Slowing down as slowly as I can,



  1. […]       Are you on course for where you want to go? Saturday night we heard Blake Russell speak at the annual dinner of our local track club. Blake represented the United States in the woman’s marathon at the Beijing Olympics. She was a great follow-up to last year’s speaker, Frank Shorter. […]

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