• Matsumoto, Nagano


Regarding the Jan. 27 Hotline to Nagatacho article ” ‘Marathon’ ritual must change”: While I understand the author’s intent in asking for change, I must respectfully disagree with him on the “need” for things like his son’s “marathon” to be discontinued. I myself was much like the author’s son. As a young boy and later as a young teen, I distinctly remember being the worst runner in my age group, of being the one child who did the fewest pullups, or the least situps, as we were tested in the United States. And, yes, I too remember the shame and frustration that I faced.

But what the author fails to recognize is not that we will fail or be less than a high achiever — everyone is at some point in life, regardless of one’s natural talent level. It’s what we do with that feeling that separates the “wheat from the chaff.” I used my shame, and relentlessly trained myself and my body throughout my teenage years to the point that I was able to gain entrance to West Point after high school, a school that has set high physical as well as academic entrance standards.

Instead of assuaging his son’s bad feelings by commiserating that the 800-meter “marathon” is unfair, how about the author helping his son get better at his physical fitness?

david varnes

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