I went out for my run today because the sun was shining and the cool, crisp air was the perfect setting for a little exercise. Am I a big runner? Nope. I ran for years mostly just to burn stress and keep fit but it was not ideal for me. After 2 major car accidents, my poor body was just not cut out for running as much as I would've liked it to be. I ran the Vancouver Sun Run in 2000 which was my first big race. It was a 10k. At that time though, they didn't have the chip timing and given that there were 50,000+ people in the race, it took me over 10 minutes to get to the start of the race! I ran a Diva on the run 8k which was awesome and the scenery was great.
Probably my favorite run was the one I did a year after my last car accident and subsequent whiplash and foot surgery. Why was it so special? Well, besides the obvious "I've had foot surgery and soft tissue injuries but I'm not giving up" mantra I had, it was a beautiful course and a beautiful cause. It was called the Chilly Chase and we ran 5 k to support Critter Care (a local rehab place for orphaned and injured wild animals.) I am an animal lover so it was great to raise funds for such a good cause. We ran through farm lands and saw horses outside. It was January and very cold but the sun was out and it was just breathtaking. Today was much like that day and as I ran, I began to think about how lucky I am. I met a fantastic doctor that has realigned my body after 20+ years of post whiplash back and neck pain. I had more recently (in the last 3 or so years) stopped running because I thought maybe it was better but now I feel great!
Here's what my playlist looked like today: (As you can see, it's quite eclectic.)
As I ran today and the first 10 minutes was killing me, I thought: "This is much like the first 10 minutes of starting a piece of writing." And then Natasha Bedingfield came on with one of my all time favorites: Unwritten. I think that is what inspired some of my ideas about running and writing today.
I love to run and I love to teach literacy - especially writing. I enjoy the challenge of the reluctant writer and I love the sense of empowerment my students get when they start to figure out the process of writing. I put running and writing into perspective for myself today in an attempt to clarify why writing can be so challenging for some (and equally why running can be so challenging.)
Teaching writing can often be a struggle because students are not motivated or they "don't have any ideas". Some have weak pencil grip or some other issue with the mechanical end of writing. That is not that much different than running. Here is how I think writing is similar to running:
Working hard, persevering and believing in yourself is important in anything you do. I tell my students:
Thank you for the graphic +Crystal Fox
Build yourself a great week everyone! #teacherwellness