Before I start my runs, I look to see what the specifications are for the run. What are the weather conditions? What is the length of the run? How does this compare with my last run? These questions help me to frame what is in front of me. To be honest, I really don't love running while I'm doing it. I've never had a runner's high. I've never felt like my feet had wings. It's always hard for me. While training for longer runs, I do intervals to build up my stamina which means there are times when I'm running and times when I'm walking. While running, I always think, "When will the app tell me it's time to walk again?" and then I find a landmark in the distance and set my sights on it. "All I need to do is get to that mailbox," I convince myself. Sometimes, I can stop before the mailbox because I overestimated the distance. Sometimes, I need to keep going because I underestimated it.
I can’t help but think about running when thinking about the end of the year. We are so close to the finish line that we can definitely see it. No matter where the finish line is, as you get closer to it you are also getting closer to your point of exhaustion. This means you have used up what's likely left in your reserves regarding energy, fuel, and emotion. Everything in your body is telling you to stop. You are hot, fatigued, and questioning why you ever thought running was a good idea. Yet, you keep going.
As teachers, you are not the only people running in the race. You are simultaneously running and you are encouraging other runners to run–your teammates, your students, and their families. You have blisters on your feet. You are out of breath. You need a drink of water. At the same time, you are cheering on the other runners who also have blisters, are also out of breath, and need a drink of water. Everyone's legs are burning. And yet somehow we need to find the will and skill to keep running.
Olympian Apolo Ono said, ”Winning does not always mean coming in first...real victory is in arriving at the finish line with no regrets because you've gone all out." The finish line is in sight. I know you’re tired. You may not come in first, but make sure you have no regrets and go all out! If you need me, don't look for me on the sidelines cheering you on. I'm not there. I'm cheering you on while running the race too!
P.S. For the last time this school year, I want to draw your attention to the Buffalo community who experienced unwarranted hate not even a month ago. While many people rally around a community in the immediate aftermath of a tragedy, it's important to step up when the immediacy of the impact starts to wane. That's now. Therefore, my Catch of the Week is another call to action for the Buffalo community. This is not a time for pity or kind words. This is a time for action. There are so many ways to help.
Please click here for numerous opportunities to help through donations of time, talent, or treasure no matter if you're in the Buffalo area or you are looking to send love our way.