Turkey Day, run away

Today, we ran the Turkey Trot, my mom, folks from my gym, and I. A handful of them ran the 10k, and another handful and my mom and I ran the 5k. I surprised myself.

Of course, it was pouring rain off and on for the start of both runs, but cleared up fully just as the 5k started (at least, until an hour and a half later, when it wasn’t too relevant anymore). I had my running rain jacket on until the start of our run, at which point, as the skies looked clear and the rain had stopped, I tied it around my waist. An annoying appendage for a whole 5k, but it was worth it for keeping my body and hair and clothes mostly dry before the run.

My shoes ended up soaked, but not until about a third of the way into the run.

I pushed myself, and very much so. I have not trained with running, of course, so I had no idea how fast I could go. My ankle bone was out of place only five weeks ago, and has felt still a bit wonky this past month, so I haven’t really been running even in the workouts at the gym lately, and those are just 200-800m runs. And yet, here I was, prepared to walk, if at any point my foot/ankle needed it, running a 5k and giving it my best.

At just about halfway, one of the girls from my gym popped up next to me, calling me a smokes something or other. I, too, had expected her to be far ahead of me, and I had been keeping an eye out ahead for her, just in case I might be able to catch up to her. But she had been behind me for the first mile and a half. From then onward, though, we ran together. Apparently, my presence alone pushed her. Her pace thereby challenged me. And I, even aloud, gave a, “F***ing S—-,” in regards to our gym owner and programmer. He makes some amazing get amazingly challenging programming, and he is always challenging us to push ourselves. Always safely, but truly. And this morning, he was stuck in my head. I felt like a little kid who wanted to make his teacher proud, planning to tell him just how much I had stayed on top of myself to keep it up, lift up my legs more, take longer strides, breathe deeply, and crush it.

And, in multiple ways, I did. He always says that, it we’re throwing up, we’re doing it wrong. So, I limited myself there this morning – I was getting very close to my body’s demanding a vomit, and so shared that with the girl, just to let her know that I might not be able to stay with her. I only got a few meters behind her on the final quarter-mile stretch, finishing only a couple seconds after she finished (which, oddly, was finishing my race a few seconds faster than she had hers, as I began behind her at the start). Regarding results, I looked it up. Had I done the timed race, I would have been ninth in my gender-age category. And that is really cool. What’s most important to me about it all is that, by pushing myself and keeping on top of it and letting go over and over and over again if my mental strains, I ended up getting, without any running practice in the recent past, my fastest 5k time ever. And my EVEN 8:20 splits (8:21, 8:29, and 8:23 to be exact) we’re not only the fastest I’ve gone on a 5k, but the second fastest mile time I’ve had period.

Basically, it was really cool.

After the run, I grabbed some cookies and bananas, and rushed to the kids’ 1k run to see my nephew and nieces finish their run (if they were even there, which they turned out to be, since the rain had cleared up). I didn’t see them run, but I did see them all just after they crossed the finish line, and the point was for them to feel supported, which they did. So, when, upon surprising them with my presence, I congratulated them and offered them cookies and then a banana, too, I think their days were made.

Anyway, the whole affair certainly made my day. And running into two of my old students made it extra-special. My legs are sore, especially my lower thighs. They can really feel my lack of running, I suppose, though they were clearly able to take it, thanks to all the programming at our gym. Hopefully, they’ll feel okay tomorrow!

Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving, folks. I grateful for all, and I send out my love to you, whoever you are, whenever and wherever you are. May God continue to bless us all. Amen.

P.S. On the dating app, sometimes guys say that their personal hell is families who do 5ks on holidays. I suppose one for me would be families who don’t. I am grateful for my blood family and my gym family. We were a dream team this morning, k-ing on a holiday, even in the pouring rain. Thank you, God, for these families of mine.

Post-a-day 2021

Sharing is caring

I have a lot to say. I started wondering back in college if, provided I had someone who wanted to know about my everything every day and always, someone who listened to it all and asked about it all, would I feel such a need to talk so much? I’m regular conversations, I regularly feel like I could write a whole paper on what I want to say ok that particular topic. I even think about it after the fact, and there I find even more things I want to add to the conversation. But the conversation has ceased. I imagine the person is no longer – if ever he was – interested in what I have to say on the matter.

Tonight, I was sharing about college perspectives and my own experience with selecting a college. After sharing what I shared, I then came back to the messages several minutes later to add more. Then, after showering, I recalled that I had forgotten to share something I had very much wanted to share, and I had discovered something else that I wanted to share about colleges and all. And yet, here I am, unsure as to whether it would be valuable to share. I want to share it for this person’s benefit. But would it be too much information at that point? Would it do the opposite of its intended purpose?

I don’t know.

But I shall think on this… I’m leaning toward sharing it as a ‘I know I said a lot, but it’s a big topic, and here’s my third cent on it…’

Yeah, definitely leaning in that direction now.

Post-a-day 2021

Missing… nothing

I had dinner with my dad tonight for the first time in quite a while, and it was just wonderful. In a way, I have missed having breakfast with him every week, and the occasional dinner these past few months. However, I have been so bizarrely and utterly fulfilled by my work that I haven’t really missed him. We have still chatted on the phone to check in, and we’ve had breakfast or lunch a few times since August, as well as plenty of texting. But that had been enough – I haven’t needed more lately. And I only just noticed that.

Perhaps, after this Thanksgiving week ends, I will be needing more time with those who love me clearly, as I very likely will be missing all of those kids and that amazingly fulfilling work teaching and being at school every weekday. I don’t miss it yet, because school isn’t in session. I think it will hurt on Monday, though, especially after a whole week off.

Dear God and Universe, please help me to transition with ease into my next role in fulfilling your will in this world through me. Amen.

Post-a-day 2021

Grading

I have much to do tomorrow. I think it is the only day we can be on campus this week, so I must get all the paperwork stuff finished… although, now that I think about it, I see that I could take them home, if needed. However, I don’t take work home with me. Though, I suppose it isn’t exactly work anymore, when the position has technically ended, time wise… hmm…. Hahaha

For some reason, I find that whole last bit hilarious. I’m such a dope sometimes, and I love it.

Anyway, I want to get all the paper grading finished tomorrow, anyway. It’s just a decent amount, so I will need to be rather on for much of the day, I expect. I will know for sure once I’m there and can see exactly what still needs to be graded. It might be less than I am expecting, but I know it is, nonetheless, a decent amount and will take at least a couple hours of working straight. So, I can expect easily to be at school until midday, even though I’ll be going straight from the gym. I’ll be showering at the gym, and heading over calmly, but I suspect I will be st school by around 7:15am, 7:30 at the latest.

And, you know what? I’m excited about it. I actually want to do this work. God has blessed me with this work; truly he has. And I am extremely grateful. May He find me more of it for these wonderful kids, because I want to give my life to the world through them right now and stepping forward into what’s next.

In His name we pray. Amen.

Post-a-day 2021

Tonight

My Opa died this summer. At least, I think it was this summer… this whole year and a half+ has been difficult for me to separate into time periods beyond the bulk term “recently”.

Tomorrow is his wedding anniversary with my grandma, and my grandma’s 91st birthday. So, my mom and I are staying at their house tonight – despite the 78° thermostat in here, which is a big youch! – in preparation for a small gathering of family members tomorrow. This time, instead of celebrating with Thanksgiving, as we usually do with a two-day celebration, it is a whole week before our Thanksgiving gathering, and it is without my Opa.

And I don’t know how I feel about that.

I also don’t know how I feel about my having such uncertainty…

I think I stayed away more and more as he got close to dying, potentially out of self-preservation. It was hard to be with someone who was so close to death, who so soon would be gone permanently. But also who, more and more, was less himself, as though he was ever so slowly departing from this life, until just the final bit exhaled one early morning, and finished the departure.

Perhaps life is like that. Perhaps it is only a passing-through kind of deal, where we are born, and, from that moment, we begin slowly to depart, slowly to rise to our highest selves, returning to our core and our maker, returning to our home. And maybe some people are more in touch with that home than most, already with one foot in the door, so to speak. Perhaps they never fully left, or perhaps they quickly leaped back. And perhaps the ghosts we have walking these grounds are the ones who have lost their way, or who are just not yet ready to return home. Perhaps they are the ones who forgot that, like college, life is only a stepping stone, not a destination.

Obviously, I’m rambling off in an unexpected direction here. I’m still not ready to deal with Opa not being here in person with me anymore. He was already not really here for a while before he fully left. So, while it feels quite different, his not being in this house right now, I’m also accustomed to it, and even relieved by it, considering the struggles of his body shutting down over the final year or so of his life here.

Anyway… I want to love people the way I felt and sill feel loved by him. With him, I always felt worth it, and I always felt good enough. I always felt loved, just as I was. I want to do that for those in my life.

God, help me to do so, please.

Amen.

Post-a-day 2021

Goodbye songs and prayers

Sure enough, as expected but almost didn’t come to happen, I cried while singing to this one class in particular. Somehow, I got to the last three lines totally fine, but then got one clear look directly at one student, and fell apart almost instantly. I had to stop entirely, because I just could barely breath and I was crying so suddenly and so intensely. We had a fun few moments of me learning to breathe again, and of our joking about how ‘You can’t do an encore, if it isn’t finished yet.’ I had one more line to go, and I was going to sing it! And I did. And it was wonderful. And I just love these kids dearly.

Thank you, thank you, Thank you, God and Universe for the blessing of this position this semester, and for the blessing that is and has been getting to be with these kids and be loved by them.

Post-a-day 2021

Twist

“Miss ——, the look on your face when she walked in was priceless!”

I had told them not to bring her into the classroom, for I would not be able to refrain from saying something. This is the girl my student prepared to ask out, the one he missed yesterday. However, a twist of fate brought them together tonight.

Another of my students is friends with this girl. She is also friends with the male wanting to ask the girl out. So she, when visiting me after school today, ended up discussing with the boy how he intended to approach the other girl. She approved of his aims and methods, only critiquing certain words slightly.

But then she offered an alternative. ‘She’s here right now. I could tell her to come in here with us.’ When that was a no-go on my and the boy’s end, they decided to go join the girl at the basketball game. At the game, my one student purposely sat not next to this girl, allowing/forcing the boy student to sit next to the girl. And he joined in the conversation, as well as struck up some of his own with just the girl.

When my girl student declared that she was coming back to my classroom, however, the other girl said that she wanted to join. And so, a few minutes later, all three of them walked into my classroom. One student already in my room, sitting near me, told me quietly who the third person was walking into the room…

I most certainly made a face…

And, I tell you, it was extremely difficult not to ask anything about what on Earth was going on and what had happened at the game and what the plan was going forward now for the boy student. Not that I typically care much at all regarding my students’ dating lives, but this boy has me invested in the silly soap opera at this point, showing up constantly to tell me it’s progression and his plans for his next move.

As soon as the girl had too leave, we all three exploded. It was hilarious. The female student of mine told me how she was genuinely concerned about bringing the girl with them to my classroom, because of what I’d said about my saying something. Both of my students were on a bit of an edge while the girl was in the room with us all. Their sudden free breathing after her departure was obvious. And, of course, they immediately filled me in on everything that had happened at the game. 😛

So, what will happen next??? Perhaps we shall have another episode of this delightful soap opera tomorrow…!

Post-a-day 2021

Heartache

I stop just after I begin to speak to the class. ‘——, you look utterly crushed and depressed.’

‘I am,’ he replies sadly yet strongly.

He missed her today. Apparently, he got to the spot where their paths cross too early Monday, and so he took his time today. Yet, I saw them all leaving immediately after the bell today, and guessed he might miss her. And he did. Even as he stood outside on the sidewalk, he turned toward where he guessed I was standing, lifted his arms in what can only be described as hopelessness, and let them fall, dejected yet accepting. She was nowhere to be seen.

He had even come in before school today to talk to me. Not to practice or anything, but just to talk with someone, to let out some of his nerves. He came by again, later in the the morning and again later in the day, just before heading to his last class before he would see her. At least, on every other day, he sees her after that class. Now, though, that he is trying to talk to her and get to know her, she is nearly impossible to find, it seems.

My heart is with him.

Also, after hearing from a friend of the girl today, there is a high chance that it will go nowhere between the two of them. But what I truly care about is that he is taking on something wonderful yet scary and is pushing past his comfort zone into truly living. I am extremely proud of and excited for him.

And I trust that we get exactly what we need exactly when we need it. He is no exception. May he have fun with and enjoy and be grateful for all of this experience, I do pray. Amen

Post-a-day 2021

I love these kids

After school today, a student came to see me for some test prep help. However, he also came to tell me, ‘My script has changed, Miss —-.’

And so, what did we do for roughly an hour and a half after school? Work on school work? Nope. We did run-throughs of the many possible scenarios that would arise tomorrow when he approaches this girl to ask her out. Actually, it isn’t even necessarily a date for which he is asking. See the rough “script”, as he calls it, here:

Hey, are you S——? I’m ——-. Nice to meet you. I just wanted to introduce myself, because, honestly, I saw you and I though you were gorgeous, and I’d like to get to know you. Would you like to maybe do something together one day after school or maybe next week?

He has prepared for many contingencies in her possible reactions at any point in his “script”. He has practiced plowing through even when he messes up and stumbles terribly (and yes, he does a great job recovering). He is ready for her apathy, her casual interest, her extreme excitement, and even her likely five-girl gaggle. He is prepared and practiced in how he will ask for her number (and why, should she offer a social media option instead), and what he will say once he has it. He has watched a Ted Talk on power stances, so as to prepare himself chemically in the brain – to cause the chemicals of courage! – and will be positioning his body in at least one power stance during the last several minutes of the previous class tomorrow. He has visualized his “perfect game” in the whole scenario.

He has certainly prepared.

Most importantly, though he cares about this and means every word he is preparing to say to her, he also is prepared for her not to accept his request and expression of interest – he is prepared to accept what is meant to be, and he knows that it is worth being courageous despite the potential of denial. Because this prepares him for so much more than merely asking out a girl tomorrow. Life takes courage if we are to live it to our fullest.

I wish him all the best and loads of love and prayers for this courageous event tomorrow. And I look forward not only to seeing it happen from afar – yes, it so happens that it will take place just outside a window by my room – but to hearing whatever he has to share about it afterward. Hopefully, I will hear that roar of delight from him that he expects will be inevitable should he succeed.

Fingers crossed and prayers offered – God, bless him in his endeavours, please. Amen.

Post-a-day 2021

Closing time

Doo do-doo do-doo-doo…

Well, this is the final week of my current assignment. My home and my life these past few months has been this school and its students and mission. I am not so sure I am keep it together the rest of the week. Just practicing the song I will sing for them in each of their last classes with me, I was struggling not to bawl this evening… In one class in particular, I don’t know if I will be able to keep it together enough even to sing the song, let alone sing it well. (And I do believe that I usually sing it well.) In that class, I feel so full, my life feels meant for these kids – they make me want to buckle down and prepare the greatest and most wonderful curriculum possible for them for the rest of the year, that particular class. If I allow myself to be fully present to my emotions when we are saying goodbye Friday, I certainly will cry.

What’s more, it is likely I will be in tears for all the classes, anyway, saying goodbye to them – I love these kids so dearly. And I have never experienced wanting to stay with my students like this before now. Every time I left a school, while I was bummed, I was quite looking forward to an easier schedule and less intense work for myself. This time, however, is very, very different. I want to be a part of this school. I want to be with these kids and support them directly going forward.

I’m just not sure yet how that will look. 😉

Thank you, God and Universe for this blessing.

Amen

Post-a-day 2021