“in some countries that would be considered walking”

By some strange twist of fate, I have been asked to and have decided upon “helping out” with the cross-country team where I work. I do not say coach because, well, in the grand scheme of running I know nothing. (And more importantly, if someone walked into my classroom and started calling herself a teacher, I’d be pretty annoyed.)

At any rate, the title of this post was overheard during a drill.

When I went out to run alone yesterday, I thought about this. Not about my speed because I am ridiculously slower than the students with whom I work. But I thought about it in terms of effort. Usually when I run, I do it at the easiest pace I possibly can.

And I wonder why I make such slow progress.

So, I eliminated music from my runs. Which was a really hard thing for me to do. But I completed a two-hour run without music and knew that I would be okay relying on the sound of my breathing and my footsteps.

Once that hurdle was passed, I decided to make a conscious effort to improve form and speed. Doing the same thing in the same way over and over again (slowly in my case) just ensures that you can do that very thing in the same way forever, I realized.

And already I feel much better about my progress this week.

Nice to know that “to teach is to learn” applies to coaching as well.

what are we teaching our girls?

When I returned to the all-girls school where I teach today, I was reminded of something that has been bothering me since I started running.

Women have an unnatural obsession with weight. And sizes.

I wouldn’t have minded comments about how healthy I look or questions about how my running is coming along.

But that’s not what I got. And I just stopped to think. How does this translate over to how we teach our girls? If we are leading by example, this isn’t a very good one.

This comes after other comments last week. I had students tell me that if their coach had to work with a woman, at least it was me because “you’re close enough to working with a [guy].” Not offended at all, I asked what they meant.

You don’t put up with sh*t.

Why does that have to be a male trait? I don’t think we do girls any great favor by making them think that being practical, having high standards and being straightforward are male qualities.

For a long time, I called myself a tomboy. I actually still do sometimes. But really what’s so boyish about what I do? It’s all just being human in my mind.

missing…

It’s been a long while since I’ve written here. I guess I’ve been busy. Like technically busy and also mentally busy.

During the gap, I have:

  • reached the 10 mile mark in my long runs
  • reached the Chapter 45 mark in my novel
  • went white water rafting for the first time
  • biked 15.5 miles with a 2200-foot elevation gain
  • spent a week+ in Big Bear
  • visited my cousin(s) in Oregon
  • spent 3 days on a road trip to Monterey with one of my favoritest people ever
  • gone to more than a few Dodger games (even though it’s not always fun)
  • reevaluated life (yes, again)
  • realized that I will always, always be in a state of reevaluation and that’s the perfect way for me to be
Mostly, I have thoroughly enjoyed a summer in a way that I haven’t in a long time.