This past weekend I ran my very first half marathon! Three of my close friends and I spent the night in a lovely little downtown Galveston apartment, and woke bright and early on Sunday to prepare. We adorned our best running shoes, packed our water belts with honey running goo to keep us going, and we were out the door, ready to take on the day!
When we reached the race location, the sun was just peaking out from the clouds. The sunrise was beautiful, and the temperature was PERFECT! There were probably a few thousand people standing around giddy with excitement, but I was far from excited. As they began lining us up in waves, (we were in the 3rd, and final, wave), I started feeling that pit in my stomach. You know the one. That feeling you get when you absolutely HAVE to accomplish something, but you also know you haven't really prepared as well as you should have. That was me. I knew I could definitely get through the first 8 miles, but any mile after that was going to be iffy.
It felt like we were standing there waiting our turn to start running for an eternity. My mind started thinking about a million things in life that I am never fully prepared for, but have to push through and do the best I can. I started thinking about my own kids and what they learn from me. I thought about my students and what I had taught them about running the race of life. Our students need to know that there will be times in their life where they will not be 100% prepared, and it's okay. That becoming an adult is also understanding that life isn't just about growing physically, but also about growing your mind, friendships, careers, and relationships. I think we should be teaching students to train for the full marathon of life...which is far greater than half! Not for school, but for LIFE we learn! That has always been my class motto, and still is at the core of my beliefs as an educator.
So how did I do? Well, I stayed up pretty well with my team mates until around mile 10 1/2! I am really proud of that!! I did have to slow my pace, and finally ended the last two miles in a nice brisk walk. But, I'm okay with that. I accomplished my goal, and that's what truly matters. I'm growing as person, going out on very shaky limbs sometimes, but it'll all be worth it if I've absolutely tried my best, even if I wasn't absolutely prepared!
(and I just might run another half someday!-might!)
B J Gates
"Not for School, but for LIFE we learn!"
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