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A PTA meeting is tougher
Skip Myslenski
December 08, 1969
This is how Mrs. Doris Brown, a part-time teacher, described her win in the Nationals, a meet which attracted 542 girls from age 7 on up
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December 08, 1969

A Pta Meeting Is Tougher

This is how Mrs. Doris Brown, a part-time teacher, described her win in the Nationals, a meet which attracted 542 girls from age 7 on up

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Later, Dr. Foreman smiled when he was reminded of the conversation. "But it's true," he said. "The women runners are tremendously sensitive people. They are an amazing transition from the typical brute, from the archetype that all those who don't know women's track claim them to be."

"Definitely," Brownie says. "Girls now always make sure they look well, that they have makeup on and that their hair is combed and that maybe they have a ribbon in their hair.

"But still," she continues, "running is a matter of enjoyment and a means of fulfilling your needs, to at least partially give back to others what they have given to you. Even the books I read that inspire me in my running are those that talk about human character. I mean things like [Maxwell] Maltz' Psycho-Cybernetics and [Paul] Tournier's The Strong and The Weak and [Robert W.] Russell's To Catch an Angel. All of them teach you how to make yourself better. They're positive books, and not abstractly positive but with reasons. There is even Nietzsche. He says, 'If we have our own why of life, we shall get along with almost any how.' I have a why. To win an Olympic medal [in the 1,500-meter run]. I figure I can do anything to get it."

It is a new age, and the problems of the young will never be those of Doris Brown or Cheryl Bridges or Pat Cole, each of whom was barred from her high school track. Nowadays girls aren't allowed to run unless they're girls. "I was insulted when the doctor said he had to check me," Francie Larrieu said, referring to the standard hormone test which is given before most major meets. "He said he had to make sure I was a girl. My gosh, couldn't he see?" If, in fact, he couldn't, he was the only one.

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