“Marathon Love” Documentary

This sounds like a really cool story:

That’s when Lynn McGovern’s life was shattered in a horrific car accident en route to a White Sox game, suffering a devastating brainstem injury that left her cognitively impaired and unable to walk.

It would be 17 days before the 24-year-old opened her eyes and another seven months before she uttered a word. Well-meaning friends told Parks he should bail out while he still had the chance.

“I said, ‘You’ve got to give me a better reason,’ ” said Parks, a mailman, who documented his fiance’s arduous recovery with thousands of hours of home video.

The couple ended up tying the knot in 1994—almost seven years and thousands of hours of physical therapy after their original date.

And the marathon part:

An avid runner, Jamie started pushing his wife in her wheelchair rather than leave her alone during runs. (While he’s at work, her mother and an aide are with Lynn, who still endures hours of therapy daily.)

Through sun and sleet, the Parkses became a fixture in their subdivision, waving to neighbors as they pass by.

He entered some 5K and 10K races, eventually working up to marathons. Only now, they are joined by their “miracle baby” Annalyn, 9, who acknowledges that her parents “are pretty cool.”

Along the way, there were setbacks, but last April, Jamie Parks—now 47—achieved the pinnacle of his running career: the Boston Marathon. At mile 20, Lynn talked her husband up Heartbreak Hill In the documentary, the runner scoops up his daughter at the last quarter mile and the three finish the race together (time: 3:25:45)—a lump-in-the throat moment.

  1. Mike said:

    Hey JB,

    I’m curious your take on the auto bailout situation. I’m not fully sure what I think.

    Obviously Detroit is crippled by the cost of its labor against the competition. Since we last chatted about this, I learned that the foreign auto makers are definitely getting cheaper, non-union labor here in the US. I think we both presumed this and were right.

    With the auto bailout, it seems like throwing more money at Detroit isn’t going to help its labor cost disadvantage. But at the same time, if Detroit goes under, that’s just bad period. I think it’s time for the UAW to take one on the chin… while some bailout money does indeed go to Detroit.

    What do you think?

  2. jb said:

    That’s basically my opinion too.

    Until the UAW gets de-fanged, Detroit can’t compete. This was apparent to industry observers 20+ years ago, but Detroit was temporarily rescued by constant demand for trucks and increased American demand during the last 20 years for for huge, heavy, fuel-inefficient SUVs (and vans, but to a lesser extent because they tend to get better mileage than SUVs). When the demand disappeared this year with high fuel prices, this was just pent-up consumer fuel-price sensitivity finally hitting home.

    Caterpillar already fought this battle in the eighties.

  3. Mike said:

    This could potentially be an opportunity for Detroit to get its act together. Specifically, if UAW takes a cut and government lends money… then government, and the public for that matter, will have the right to hold Detroit executives directly accountable. It’ll basically become sink or swim and we’ll see what Detroit’s made of.

    I just wish they could make some exciting products with innovative design. When was the last time Detroit set the curve with an automobile? The upcoming Camaro looks cool. But in this economy, I don’t foresee innovation coming out of Detroit.

    It’d be nice if the government insisted that part of their bailout money goes to design and top creative people.

  4. In case you missed it on Sunday night, Discovery Health Channel will repeat “Marathon Love” on Valentine’s Day at 8PM Eastern and Pacific/7 Central