Speed Pacer

We were both running a little late Monday afternoon, so I was speed walking with our Assistant Principal down the sidewalk to the other campus when he noticed that I was moving in that direction fairly quickly - mostly because I do NOT like to be late! That's when he said that he had the perfect job for me (as if I don't ALREADY have the perfect job!). He'd just completed his 100K road race . . . yep, 62.something miles . . . that took 20 something hours. He said that trail runners really appreciate the help from the race pacers, and that he thinks I'd be really good at that. Being a pacer. He said you basically have to walk fast alongside and pace the fatigued road warriors while you say positive things to them. Encourage them. Lift them up, with words. And keep them on track, moving forward, in the right direction, every step a bit closer to their finish line.

Speed walk and say positive things? That's it? I could do that, I thought for a split second. It's not like I rushed right out and signed up for that pacer position, mind you, but I think that somewhere down the road that could be a good fit for me. Mr. Whitlock shared these reflections about that endurance trail run in our school newsletter:

I can't explain what makes me enter these ridiculous events, but I can say that the physical and mental challenge, which is poured into each forward movement, provides such an incredible sense of accomplishment when the finish line is reached.  On a recent trail run in Bandera, a course known for technical climbs, steep grades, and loose rock, I got a parenting lesson in a trail-runner way.  As a small pack of runners descended through the hill country on a single-track trail, most had acute focus on the next step, with attention to  landing in the same footsteps of the trail shoes in front. Our line came to a halt as one of the lead runners recognized we had veered off course.  

After a brief period of recalculation, we found our trail again and continued down a nasty rocky slope.  Without many words exchanged, I was struck with a parenting notion that will last me for a lifetime. I wonder if my children are observing my footsteps and following in my direction?  I wonder how my actions will transfer to them when they become adults. Am I leading them down the correct trail?  I had over 20 hours to ponder this parenting metaphor. Thoughts of how small eyes are watching challenged me every bit as much as the course did.  My concluding thoughts were that if I model living life rushed, they might not understand slowing down. If I am sharp with my words, they may have trouble dealing with conflict appropriately. If I value and model being on time, they may respect punctuality. If I demonstrate volunteering, my footsteps may be followed by two tender girls who understand service. If I show hospitality to the poor . . . ok, you get the point. . . .

These Ironmen run for twenty hours. Straight. Without a break, except to eat and take care of other bodily demands. Yep, I'd definitely consider becoming a pacer to help them reach their goal. 

And then I got this sweet surprise from Shawna at The Picture Book Teacher's Edition - she gave me this AdOrAbLe award! If you haven't been by her blog, do yourself a favor and check it out. She's an expert at picking out, reviewing, and enriching the best picture books! This award got me to thinking that being a follower is kind of like being a run pacer . . . encourage and uplift fellow bloggers as you speedwalk jog run sprint with them down the trail. Thanks, Shawna, for letting me know that you appreciate my visits! The part where I pass the award along is tricky because I have a such a nice support group of friends who stop by the Corner with kind words of affirmation. 

Kim from Finding Joy in 6th is someone who also scouts for me and sends me resources that she thinks would fit. So Kim, tag, you're it, the recipient of this cute award. Thanks for sprinkling JOY around our cyberspace universe and being a pacer for me. Sing it with me now:  Go Speed Pacer, Go Speed Pacer, Go Speed Pacer Go-oh!

1 comment:

  1. Speed pacer, that sounds like something you would be terrific at!

    The Picture Book Teacher's Edition


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