Why is it that I have my most creative thoughts during a run and once I sit down to write the words have left my mind? It is if I need to carry a tape recorder with me on my runs.
This post has been a long time coming. For three years now I have been coaching running club at my local elementary school. Depending on season the age of the students has ranged from kindergarten all the way to 8th grade. This past session was a special 5K training program for 4th-8th graders. Being in the Midwest, training in the winter for a race on April 1st comes with a few challenges. Not only are we dealing with cold, wind, and precipitation the school is an inner city public school where most children do not have the proper cold weather gear. I coach with an amazing group of ladies who always bring extra hats and gloves to loan out. One has even given the shoes she was wearing when a kid did not come in proper shoes.
I would like to highlight the accomplishments of one child who can remind us all that it is a privilege to run. Yes, his actual name will be left out to protect the privacy of the individual. From here forward I will call him John. John was a middle school age child that has never participated in any of our previous running club sessions but decided to make his first attempt at running a 5K. John has severe asthma and I am speculating has probably not participated in many sports in the past because of health condition. John’s training plan was a bit different from most of his other classmates because he was on a run/walk program. John came to practice multiple times a week, never complained about his limitations or training plan for the day, was always positive, and most importantly had fun. There were a few days he was sidelined because of the cold temperatures but he always came back to the next practice.
Needless to say he successfully completed his race. I say his race because it was truly his race. I am not sure if he wanted to take on this challenge or was encouraged by another individual to do so but he set his goal and accomplished it. Running is the one sport that you can do for yourself. You run your pace, you set your own goals, and you own the satisfaction of accomplishment at the end of the race.