Thursday, March 17, 2016

Pounding heart. Sweat. Speed. Laughter. The joy of the run.

"Be the change you want to see in the world."

I love this quote. It is my email footer at work. It's a constant reminder on those days, those tough days. After being up with my own kids throughout the night, having my other 83 kids meltdown, getting a walkthrough, unjamming the copier for the GAZILLION time. Having a day. It's there… "Be the change" ..One of my mission statements. Changing something in the world, I want to be different…having the mindset, it's not about me.

What I wanted this year was movement…...

I wrote about this awhile ago on one of my Facebook posts, but I wanted to share a bit more because of the positive impact this program has had on kiddos, parents, and others in the community.

I wasn't okay with one of my students not being able to fit into a sixth grade desk due to his size. Seeing it was a problem for him, we had to request that the custodian bring a different desk upstairs. I felt so uneasy, sad, helpless, for him… what can I do for this year to be different? Literally, day 1 of meeting him…he was my goal; some sort of change needed to happen. 

“The biggest takeaway we want the kids to get from this partnership with Marathon Kids is that they're athletes, too. By helping kids fall in love with sport, we’re helping break the cycle of inactivity.”

This was one of the first quotes that caught my eye when I read about "Marathon Kids," through Nike. YES! Inactivity is the nemesis of this generation. Look around; screens galore (that's a different post for another day). 
The more I read, the more I was hookedand decided, this program was my answer:

The Marathon Kids program engages kids in a positive, simple, goal-driven running program that challenges them to run the equivalent of up to four marathons (from 26.2 miles to 104.8 miles) over the course of a three-, six- or nine-month running club season or school year. 
Upon reading this, how could it all work? I didn't want to single out one student…
I teach reading, not gym. 
Would other students want to do this? 
Should I apply for the grant…(something on my teacher bucket list that I never did before)… probably won't get it because my "why" isn't captivating enough, not what they are looking for….
Will any other students care about walking a marathon, or will they think it's lame?

With a lot of late nights, and searching through other school walking/exercise programs, the following things starting falling into place: 
*Receiving the grant: Nike waived the $15 fee for all of my students so they receive all rewards for free
*Asking if the gym was available Tuesday and Thursday mornings for walking.

 *Telling my kiddos the plan- (one class applauded).. "This is awesome!"  "We get to exercise BEFORE school?" "I'm getting more miles than you!"  "Thank you."
*Figuring out to calculate the laps to miles to rewards. One lap is 0.05 miles. Students grab popsicle sticks each time they take one lap around the gym. Girls pick up sticks from one side, boys from the other. 

                                                         Handy Dandy Conversion Chart

        Students record how many laps they walked/ran in one session on the Nike log: 

    Shirt for 1 marathon; shoelaces for 2;
shoe tags for 3; bracelets for marathon 4! 

 Kids aren't required to walk of course, but guess who shows up every time it's his scheduled session. Watching him consistently walk 8 laps, and now he is up to 12, I get teary-eyed. He's doing it. He's walking. He is making the choice to move. This movement could be the start of a new life for him, and that is why I'm so grateful for this program. 

Thank you to my teammates who have been supportive since lap one.

Thank you to the runner who completed her own Runner's World running log; wanting to experience the same inspiration and accomplishment of marathon runners for having this initial idea in 1995, which propelled Nike's idea for this program. 

Thank you to Chad Mann, the representative I've been in contact with, and told me the good news of the grant. Thank you for making sure my kiddo received his size 4XL shirt, which will hopefully be big on him when he earns it. 

Thank you to the kiddo who just reached mile 8 today.
 Thank you for not giving up as other kids are lapping you, but you keep smiling and walking. 

       Thank you Nike for allowing my team to be representative in this number:

1 comment:

  1. So proud of you my friend! I love seeing your heart for your students! xo



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