Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Priorities: Two Points

Should I insert the obligatory, "Sorry I haven't posted for a while?" Maybe? Maybe not? Well, you choose. Pretend it's there if you want it, pretend it's not there if you don't.

To be honest, my priorities are straight(ish) right now. I'm far from perfect, but I'm not eating gallons of ice cream for breakfast. I'm gaining a few ounces back, and my exercise isn't fabulous, but it's where I need to be for at least a few more weeks. If you're a teacher, you surely understand that the first month or so of a new year can be the most time-consuming. Add the fact that our principal is suddenly adding even more testing into our overworked schedules, and you get even less time. Add the fact that I'm starting one or two (haven't decided whether to drop one) two-year professional development programs, and my time whittles away even more.

So, am I beating myself up for not being particularly athletic right now? Heck no. Even "real" athletes have off-seasons, so that's where I am right now. I'm still in my events, and I'm still training (albeit lightly), so I can't be anything but proud. So there.

So, that's one issue of priorities dealt with. Now for the next: Have you made giving back to the athletic community a priority yet?

I read somewhere about a woman who makes a point of volunteering for at least one event per year. She moves from the competition to support. I don't know about you, but that really clicked for me. Thanks to her, I spent early Sunday morning volunteering for a local race. At the first station, I directed human traffic (10k and half-marathon runners go this way; 5k runners go that). At the second station, I played traffic cop and stopped motorized traffic so that the runners didn't have to slow down.

Was it as fun as running? Surely not. (But it was fun cheering on the runners and admiring their spirit head-on.) More importantly, let's face it: Where would your favorite events be without the sacrifice of volunteers?

So, I ask again: Have you given back yet? I'm not judging, but I am passing on the idea: Just once a year, step to the side and give support to your fellow runners/cyclists/athletes. It's a whole different kind of achievement, but it's achievement nonetheless.

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