Friday, November 09, 2012
So yesterday we had the final training workout with our team of girls- all fun and games, relays, Steal the Bacon and so on. The weather was cool and a little drizzly, probably what we will have on race day. This was nice, since our mock 5k on Tuesday was on an 80 + degree day. (Okay, I should never complain about the weather, one of the perks of living in the SF bay area!).
During the mock 5k, I was the caboose once again, the Encourager-in-Chief, trying to talk the girls at the back into adding a little slow jogging to their walking. My own pace is a slow jog with walking intervals, so I'm not pushing them to run full out. I am so proud of one little girl who struggled six weeks ago to run even short distances. She jog-walked the entire three miles, proud to have her mom running along with her for the first time! She will be great tomorrow, enjoying the run with her mom. I don't know which girls will end up with me. Last year the younger, slower girls that I had trained with did fine, while a couple of older girls slowed to a walk for the last third. I jogged along side them and tried to get them to jog-walk intervals with me. We did make it over the finish line with them giving a little sprint at the end. Yaay! I wonder who will finish with me tomorrow?
I haven't been keeping track of timing, but I know that my endurance and that of our slowest girls has steadily increased over the weeks of training. I am so happy to see their growing confidence and the acceptance throughout the team of everyone's varying ability levels. Tomorrow will be a day of celebration!
Wednesday, November 07, 2012
So where do we go from here? I've been reading blogs and Facebook entries, listening to commentary on the radio. So many people are alienated from friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, because of opposing political views.
No matter which way you voted yesterday, think back to George W's re-election and remember that most of us have felt happy about one re-election and despondent about the other. So we should be more understanding of one another and try not to demonize the other side. Most of us voters do not embody the worst excesses of either political party. Despite the campaign rhetoric, there is more that unites us than separates us. SP is a good example. We converse and cheer on one another with no regard to political affiliation. We are willing to assume the best about the other person. That's the attitude we need to take as a nation, and then get to work finding solutions together for the problems our country faces.
Woo Hoo USA!
Friday, October 12, 2012
Today we had the second meeting of the Fall 2012 running club, made up of girls in third through fifth grade. I am providing support to another teacher who is the lead coach/organizer of the club. This is her third year, my second. Many of the girls are repeat members, which says a lot about the level of fun involved!
I have not been a runner since my college days, and then only recreational, not organized. I am a pre-Title Nine female, always more into music and reading than anything causing me to break a sweat. My only outdoor sport these days is bicycling, which we do early in the morning on weekends, to avoid traffic and the sun (my personal health nemesis). So why did I sign on to twice-a-week running sessions leading up to a 5k?
It's for the girls! This running club emphasizes exercise, healthy eating habits, giving encouragement and support to others, healthy body image and self-esteem, basically the attributes and habits that will help these girls thrive during the coming difficult middle school years when peer pressure and negative societal messages undermine good health and self-esteem in girls.
Since I'm not a strong runner (though lighter on my feet than last year thanks to SparkPeople!), I am the caboose on our runs, making sure no one is left behind and offering encouragement along the way. I figure I can also demonstrate that one does not need to be a super fit athlete or model to enjoy getting exercise. We talk with the girls about our goal not being to win a race, but to reach the other side of the finish line. Last year I jogged very slowly along side some girls who would only walk the last portion of our 5k, but in the end they joined me in running across the finish line. We were so proud of ourselves!
So if you happen to see a gaggle of girls running with a lady in a not-too-sporty sun hat, smile and wave hello - we thrive on encouraging words!
Sunday, October 07, 2012
Great day yesterday at the Orff workshop for music teachers! The fabulous presenters from Destiny Arts led us in Hip Hop dancing, freestyling rhymes, improvisational theater, even beatboxing!! These activities are way younger than I am, just what my own sons grew up with. It was fun learning about and trying to do each of them, especially since one of my sons was there too. I got in a lot of heart-pumping exercise and picked up many lesson ideas that my students will love. Here is the poem I dashed off during our freestyling class:
silver, orange, darting
cool, cold, koi
flow, stream, fall
float, moat, muse
amuse, amass, amazing
chase the stress
too much wind, leaves invade
rake, scoop, reveal, relax
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