Monday, October 10, 2011

Educational Race

Each and every one of us has the chance to embrace new things or not. This past weekend I was in a 5k race. It was a fabulous experience. I don't know exactly what I had expected but as with anything new there is always some anxiety about what might happen.
I had done my first run on September 11th and had run at least 3 or 4 days a week for the past month. I was prepared and consequently hoped that I would run a time that would be respectable. I was not worried about finishing because I had been running this distance for 3 weeks.
This experience for me has a certain relevance to being an educator. Challenges that we bring upon ourselves are good for us. They may have the intended consequence and they may not. We need to prepare ourselves (or the students) for the challenge and then, let the chips fall where they may. We might get sick, have an injury, lack motivation due to a sleepless night or have something that is beyond our control that stops us from reaching the challenge. This is a part of life and not a reason to give up or think that our efforts were for naught. All of have days or moments that it is hard to focus and get it done. Why should we beat ourselves up about it?
How we face the challenge, rise to it and then learn from it are more important than whether the goal was achieved or not. In my particular case, I am raising the bar even higher for my next race :D (this from a woman who was not a runner just a month ago).
I had a good race time - 28:19, was in 23rd place out of 85 women and 82nd out of 160 total runners. I felt surrounded by encouragement from fellow runners as well as the volunteer cheerleaders on the side of the roads. I met the race coordinator and it was her that was my inspiration to run in the first place. She is the same age as me and had run the Leadville Colorodo 100 mile trail race this past summer. If she could run that, I could run a measly 5k!! As I sat listening to the race results I would humbled and inspired by the man who was in the over 70 age bracket. If he can run, I can run :) I had a 10 (almost 11) year old run ahead of me the entire race. I think I knew my limits and decided that however he did, that was his business and I needed to take care of me.
This is another relevant tie into education. We are all at different places in our lives. We can set realistic challenges and then go for it. What I did, worked for me but it will not work necessarily for you. Yes, I did well on this race, however, I know I can do better and with encouragement, further instruction and desire I will be a faster and longer distance runner. If we as educators and students get the same from the system in which we learn, we will be life long learners.

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