One of the first running races I ever ran was called the Dave Wottle run. It was a PE requirement in middle school. I didn't consider myself a runner, and like many kids that age had no idea how to pace myself for the race. I didn't come in last but I was definitely in the back of the pack.
In my twenties, I dipped back into the running thing after a housemate got me to run with her. Every stride was a struggle- I guess because I didn't see myself as a runner. I was slow. I didn't have the look- the right clothes- but eager to make a new friend in my new town I chugged along.
In my thirties, I kept on running with friends. We ran 5Ks, 10Ks, and 10-milers. Still, for the most part, I didn't love it. In my eye, I was a person who runs, I was not a runner. I enjoyed the way running burned calories allowing me to eat more but I was not a runner.
Eventually, running took its toll on my body. There were aches. A doctor uttered the A-word...arthritis. Last August I got myself a new knee and officially said goodbye to my life as a person who runs.
When I'm out walking I see the runners. I see them stretch those legs out and hit full stride. And I miss it. I ran in my dream last night and it felt great.
So, when my students-the ones who didn't seem to care about school at all- the ones who didn't see themselves as students- write about how much they miss school (and even me)...I get it.
3 hours ago