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Michelle Turnberg, Published June 02 2012

Turnberg: Racers’ videos are inspiring

See videos below

I love to be inspired.

I love to see, watch or hear stories that lift us up, encourage us to do better, or put forth a greater effort.

We are bombarded with negative news stories every day. So much so that at times we have to seek out the good news.

While I worked in television there were many times I would leave the station exhausted. It was exhaustion from noise; hearing police scanners, cable news networks and other media on, all at once, all day long.

Most people don’t realize just how much news we would have to ignore. You can’t include everything, thankfully, in a half-hour newscast.

Column continues below videos

I’ve often thought how much of what is happening in local, national and international news most people just wouldn’t want to know.

So it makes me feel good when I come across those stories that are positive. Stories that make me cry and smile at the same time.

Let me share a couple of those stories I came across this week.

It was field day at Colonial Hills Elementary School in Worthington, Ohio. The kids were all taking part in races and games, including Matt W.

Matt has spastic cerebral palsy and was given the option to sit out the races, but he chose to take part just like all of his classmates. Matt would run in an event, despite the challenges of his disability.

Matt starts to slow down about halfway through his mini-marathon, but he pushes on as his supportive classmates and gym teacher cheer “Let’s go, Matt, let’s go!” and run right behind him until the end of his two laps.

After watching Matt you may never say you’re too tired for the gym again. And after seeing how his classmates rally around him you will have renewed belief that our schools are not filled with bullies but with great kids.

And then there was Claire Lomas who just finished the London Marathon – 16 days after it started.

For the past five years, Claire has been in a wheelchair. She was a professional horse rider when a freak accident paralyzed her from the chest down.

The 32-year-old athlete completed the race wearing a $70,000 bionic suit, which helped her to complete about two miles a day. Thanks to all her supporters, Lomas raised more than $100,000 for spinal cord research and says she feels lucky – despite her accident.

In an interview after the race Claire said: “Of course I have bad days and difficult times. But I just get through them, and gradually, things get better.”

A lot better. Since her accident Claire married and gave birth to a beautiful little girl who was at the finish line cheering on her mom.

Whether it’s 2 hours and 16 minutes or 16 days, first place or last, it’s the same finish line.

Matt and Claire inspire me. Sometimes we have to seek out what’s good in the world.

Michelle Turnberg writes a weekly column for SheSays.