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Story on ex-cross country star who killed herself

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Mystery_Meat, Nov 13, 2006.

  1. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Well-Known Member

    Excellent observation by dixiehack.

    Really, I'm surprised, given today's high-pressure climate in prep athletics, we're not doing more stories like these.

    I saw a girl who was one of the best cross country runners in the area pretty much give up in races during her senior year because her brother, who was her coach, was constantly pushing her to the breaking point. I saw her at one race drift off the course, trip over a cone marking the course, and fall to the ground with an "injury", just a few seconds after I heard her brother just screaming at her to "pick up the pace, you stupid bitch."

    The girl in this story wasn't pushed by her parents, but she was pushed by an overwhelming desire to be perfect. This was a sad tale, well written, that needed to be told.
     
  2. boots

    boots New Member

    Sad story. Dixie hack was a little too strong but I understand where he was coming from.
    We're in a business of story telling. Some are happy. Some are sad. This is one of the sad ones.
     
  3. henryhenry

    henryhenry Member

    sorry if i offended anyone - its a sensitive subject. when you've lost a close friend, like i have, to "depression" you become a little cynical and resentful about the medical establishment.
     
  4. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Then be resentful toward the medical establishment, not people with depression. Just because the medical establishment is corrupt doesn't mean depression is not very real for too many people.
     
  5. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    There's an interesting investigation to be conducted over whether or not distance runners are more prone to depression and/or obsessive tendencies. I remember the Judith Macur BASW story about the champion distance runner who nearly purged herself to death. There was a girl in CT about 15 years ago who won the state title four straight years and burned out something fierce.

    And I'd love to know what happened to my teammate who alienated all her teammates during her pursuit of the league title senior year.
     
  6. farmerjerome

    farmerjerome Active Member

    As someone who ran a lot when they were younger and picked it up again recently, I'm inclined to believe that there is a connection.

    Reading this story opened up a lot of old wounds for me. I understand the depression, and the total need to be in control. I can understand that she didn't run with others -- I hate it.

    I can even understand her last few days. A call to the parents; leaving the cat enough food to survive until she is found.

    But honestly, this girl sounds like she had more problems with obsessive tendencies then depression. I know how it feels when your mind just won't stop.
     
  7. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    I don't think wanting to run alone is abnormal by itself. Running is pretty much a solitary pursuit. XC and track are one of the few sports where it's good for each team member to be completely selfish. And the last time I picked up running three years ago, I hated the concept of running with people because they'd want to talk and yammer and yappity yap, and I needed to conserve all my energy since I was woefully out-of-shape.

    But as someone who enjoyed my running days in HS, yet never threatened to win league titles or anything like that, I wonder if you need to tap into your darker side in order to truly excel at it.
     
  8. KP

    KP Active Member

    JB, your last sentence nailed it perfectly.
     
  9. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Ditto.

    I don't necessarily think that runners gravitate toward depression, as much as it is that loners gravitate toward depression. (Or equally, depression gravitates toward loners.) And running, as has been stated, is a lonesome activity. It's the one place where you're supposed to be around so many people and still be all alone -- depression, meanwhile, gives you that feeling all the time. As has not been stated, at least not often enough.

    Absolutely.

    Depression is a trigger, but it's not so simple to pin down. I'm not going to throw out any psychobabble about her specific situation, because nobody knows but her, but there's a lot more going on here than depression. There usually is.

    Helluva piece of writing. Again: some stories need to be told.
     
  10. skippy05

    skippy05 Member

    Simply tragic. As a former CC runner myself and now someone who covers prep sports, including CC, I can understand, to a point, why and how runners tend to obsess like that. Obviously, there were some other issues, but in the years I've covered prep sports, it seems that the wrestlers and the runners tend to be the most obsessive about what they do and how they stay in shape.
     
  11. Bud_Bundy

    Bud_Bundy Active Member

    It was the centerpiece on A1 of the Pilot Sunday morning.
     
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