Letter from the President (January 2020)

by Steve Maguire

It’s the end of a decade, the beginning of a new year. You’d think I’d have this wealth of content to write about.   I got squat.   The Pacer Christmas Party was a blast; Shiver Race was fast and warm; Tiger Woods turned 44 today; the Eagles squeaked a clinch of the NFC East; and Wawa opened in Wyomissing.  I tried Google and the best I get with highlights for 2019 is how to cover my grey with tints of brown and amber.  

We’re supposed to have this list of resolutions–call it a plan–a path to goals we tell friends that acknowledge we all want to be a bit better.  Really I’m just trying to walk through the kitchen without opening the cookie jar for the umpteenth time.  How am I to make this list? This is important. It’s going to be 2020–the year of the optometrist.  You know they’re like Santa; they can see things we can’t.  

(Fun fact: Herman Snellen developed the eye chart in 1862 with only 10 letters.  C, D, E, F, L, N, O, P, T, and Z.) I’m going to do better next time, now that I have the answers.

…. Excuse the pause–I had to get a cookie. I think I have something now. You see tonight I was with a few people who are teachers.  Various ages, various districts, but there was one common concern or frustration pushing many towards retirement or leaving the profession. As Aretha Franklin told it like no other, “R-E-S-P-E-C-T.”  I doubt this is something new, and I’m sure my classes tested the fortitude of the faculty.  Those times however were different and there were repercussions, some following the phrase “when Dad…..”

Our choices and what we support as a club have influence, and maybe there’s a resolution to write.  As a club, through various events, we support healthy lifestyles, which I believe the various 450+ members do with character, enthusiasm, and empathy.   

Maybe the word “model” or “mentor” should be added.  I’ll reference Lance Armstrong, his 7 Tour wins, and the reality that his publicity gained as the product of deceit still brought tremendous viewership to cycling. The same World Anti-Doping Agency that couldn’t or chose not to detect Lance for years this November voted to ban Russian athletes from the Olympics and World Cup competition. I think it’s important, but time will tell how ESPN, CBS, etc. treat the various sports if the WADA ban stands.  

At the local level, however, seen in the recent 600ish Kris Kringle runners, we have tremendous youth athletes and support at many levels from the County Coaches.   Polly Corvaia, Jason Manbeck, and a great turnout of volunteers put on a tremendous event where pride in the logo may be as warm as the fleece of the hoodie.  

In the October meeting we had a presentation from Girls on the Run. In November Dale Wiest presented a program for adaptive athletes he’s developing with IM ABLE.  I’m not sure what 2020 will bring, but maybe that resolution might include volunteering, support, and modeling those roles worthy of respect.

Wishing you all the best for 2020.

   Time to quit typing, got to run……. Steve

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