A man on the move

John Young (via Facebook)

If I had known John Young when I was writing “Little People,” I might have devoted a chapter just to him. A 44-year-old math teacher school at the Pingree School in Hamilton, Young is a dedicated triathlete, an unlikely pursuit for someone with dwarfism.

On Saturday, the Salem News profiled Young on the eve of the Witch City Triathlon — a half-mile swim, a 13-mile bike race and a three-mile run. People with achondroplasia, the most common form of dwarfism, are generally advised against running because of structural challenges in their spinal columns. Yet Young told the News’ Michael Mastone that his exercise regiment actually saved him from the likelihood of major back surgery.

I don’t know what his secret is, but I do know that I’ve been taking a nutritional supplement he recommended in the hopes of extending my own running career for a few more years.

Young reports on Facebook that he finished the triathlon yesterday in 1:59:28, beating his time last year by 12 minutes.

This weekend, we’ll see John, his wife, Sue Casey, and their 7-year-old son, Owen, in Bedford, N.H., at Camp Come As You Are, an annual program for kids and families affected by dwarfism. (The banner photo on this site site is from a past camp.) John’s stories about his athletic prowess are always a highlight of Little People of America get-togethers, and I’m looking forward to catching up with him.

And be sure to check out Young’s blog.

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About Dan Kennedy

I am an associate professor of journalism at Northeastern University, and I'm using WordPress.com for my blog, Media Nation, as well as class websites.
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