Quality Magazine

Editor's Note: Be the Change

June 4, 2009

I love running. I don’t win any races-I recently noticed that I seem to have one default speed, whether I’m running three miles or 13-but I have fun doing them.

In addition to being healthier than my other favorite activity, eating brownie batter, running relaxes me and provides a good time to think. Granted, during the winter I usually prefer treadmills, so then it’s more of a good time to catch up on my TV, but I still enjoy it.

But as much as I enjoy running alone, the social aspects are even more fun. Most of my college friends run, and we’ve run several marathons and half-marathons together. While some former running club friends have stopped ­running-when asked why, one said that he had “mastered it”-I try not to harass people into my hobbies.

For the past four years, I’ve found a great way to make running more meaningful. I joined a mentoring group where adults and high school students train together for the marathon or half marathon.

While I usually can’t think of a lot of common ground with these students on day one, by the end of the program we have learned a lot about each other. At the end of the season the students are confident, seasoned pros, discussing their mile splits, goals and favorite race day moments.

Whether the mentoring program revolves around running or working, I think they are a great idea and I’m glad to see other mentoring programs cropping up, such as ASNT’s new e-Mentoring program.

Accessible to ASNT members only, e-mentoring just requires time and an e-mail address. By mainly using electronic communication, members will be able to mentor the next generation of the industry anywhere in the world.

It sounds like a great way to encourage young people in the industry. While there is always a lot of talk about recruiting new faces into the industry, it may seem difficult to do something personally. But not anymore. Share your skills and experience and help someone get started in NDT. As Gandhi said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Even without much positive news these days, individuals can still do something positive to affect other people. Time is valuable, and what better way to spend it than on the next generation?

While the ASNT program is online, there is no reason to confine the idea to a computer screen. Is there a mentoring program in your community? Would you like to add one?

For more information on the ASNT e-Mentoring program or to sign up, visit www.asnt.org/membership/ementoring/index.htm.

Thank you to the readers who have responded to my previous columns, and please keep it up. If you join the ASNT program-and I hope you do-tell me how it goes. And if you run an 8:48 mile, maybe I’ll see you at a race sometime.