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why i stopped racing all the time

i used to run by myself and whenever i got the opportunity to run with others i jumped at the chance.  what ended up happening is that i would sign up for races a lot just to be around other runners and in doing so i would push it a little harder than i needed to on race days.  i mean really, who doesn’t get a bit geeked up when you have a number pinned on?  unfortunately, the end result was i used a bit too much on the races that led up to my goal race and i wasn’t able to perform the way i wanted on ‘the’ race day.  i moved and now i run with a group every weekend and in doing so i don’t race as much.  to no surprise, my goal races have been better.  my guess is i don’t use ‘it’ up on all those events in between.  so what does this have to do with learning and teaching?

easy.

my racing is just like testing.  standford, itbs, teks, benchmark, eoc, etc.  all those tests = all that effort.  there is no build up, no working towards a goal because the next ‘race’ is always right around the corner for these kids.  let me be clear about the build up, i DO NOT encourage one single ‘test’ in the classic term.  however i like the idea of students working hard, gathering resources, and producing…i’m talking about producing in an authentic manner that doesn’t involve bubbling and number 2 pencils.  i like the idea of students creating and having the opportunity to share the fruits of all their hard work in ways that show true mastery.

i didn’t stop racing all the time intentionally, but i’m starting to see how this method works best for me.  it’s not always about the next race or the times i run each weekend, rather it’s about methodically building myself up so i can be ready to perform.  i wish the same for all students.

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2010 in venturing out of the cube

 

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the joys of enduring

there are lots of experiences we have to/choose to/ need to endure in order to enjoy the feeling we get when it’s over.  that is one of the main reasons i started, and continue to, run.  the running part is tough at times and isn’t always the most enjoyable part of my day, but the feeling of accomplishment i get when i finish can’t be replaced.  plus, let’s face it just the feeling of stopping is great too!  walking in to work in an awful downpour – same thing.  with or without an umbrella it’s not much fun to get out of your car and make your way around puddles trying to shield to most important parts of you and what you’re carrying.  but now that i’ve been in my cozy cube for 15 minutes and i’m all dried out, it’s kind of nice to listen to the rain storm raging outside while i enjoy the relative comfort of the indoors.  i realize that we are all told that we have to endure some aspects of life because “it will make us stronger”, but this isn’t the same idea that i’m hashing out here.  i’m talking about the scope of your own enjoyment for the sake of a little discomfort.  looking back at my examples, if i wasn’t to ever run, stopping running wouldn’t be possible and it wouldn’t be nearly as enjoyable simply not running at all.   likewise, i like the idea of being inside while it rains, but having to endure it for 20 seconds while i make my way into the building makes me appreciate the indoors a bit more.

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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