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Auchter's Art: Pace yourself!

John Auchter
For Michigan Radio

The first time I ever ran a race of any distance was when I was 11-years-old. I don't remember why exactly, but it was likely inspired by a summer Olympics. (How else would the boys in my Flint-area neighborhood become enthused about distance running?) It was decided that we would run around the "big block," which seemed marathon-length but was probably about a half mile.

I got it in my head that I would sprint ahead of the field early in the race, thus demoralizing the competition. After which I would simply glide to victory. So that's exactly what I did. Except some of the guys kept up with me in the sprint and, now gasping air, the others soon caught up. It was pretty brutal from that point. My legs seemed okay with propelling me onward (I weighed next to nothing), but my lungs, having never experienced such a thing, protested violently.

Out of shear force of will (stupidity?), I took the silver medal. But mostly I was thankful that I didn't die (because I really thought I was going to). It was a really good life lesson about the importance of planning and preparing properly for a race.

Already the political operatives of the nation and state are begging us to cut our precious Michigan summer short and sprint ahead toward the fall election. Don't listen to them. Both the summer and the election are too important for all of us to be sucking wind for the next three months. Pace yourself!

John Auchter is a freelance political cartoonist. His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Michigan Radio, its management, or its license holder, the University of Michigan.

Since 1995 John has created Michigan-based editorial cartoons for the Grand Rapids Business Journal, the Grand Rapids Press, and MLive Newspapers. His cartoons are currently featured at MichiganRadio.org and are syndicated to newspapers through the Michigan Press Association. John is an active member of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. You can view an archive of his editorial work and other cartoons at Auchtoon.com.
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