The post below was originally written Monday, Oct. 23, 2006.
A race well run. I’m laying on the floor outside Gate 18 in Terminal 5 of O’Hare International Airport and I’m dreading what will happen in 20 minutes when I have to get back to my feet and begin boarding. If ever you find yourself spending major amounts of time in Terminal 5, bring food. The options once one passes through security are scant to say the best. It has been a busy weekend full of family, friends and running. Though it was not a PR in terms of time, this completion of the Chicago Marathon was one of my favorites. It elicited nowhere near the same emotional reaction from that sacred place at a runner’s core from whence emotion springs at the finish line and other major checkpoints, but it was still preferred.This year, for the first time, I was running a marathon not just with someone I knew, but with someone I’m related to. I’m unspeakably proud of my sister Rachel who has now completed 2 marathons before the age of 17. The world should expect great things from her. Running the first 10 miles along side Rachel will be a memory I treasure forever. She is tremendous. Knowing some of my closest friends, Teacher Dunda, Katy and Natalie were sharing the course gave the race a since of completion I’d not known before.
Hobbling with Natalie, Dunda and Katy to lunch today was a comical sight. Almost as comical, I would imagine, as the site of Dunda, Natalie and I making it to our gate.
In two weeks, I run again. For the first time, I’ll be trying my legs at the ING New York City Marathon. I’ll be covering the course with thousands of others, but I’ll also be covering it alone.
I’ll have no sister beside me for the first ten miles. It will be the city and it will be me.
We were speaking at lunch of the feeling that one can accomplish anything after running a marathon. Soon, I will find out if that anything includes another marathon. As with my first race, the goal is to finish – to know that I’ve pushed myself further and farther than I ever knew I could.
The metaphor is carrying over into the classroom. I was telling my friend Rachel the other day that I feel I’m back on my game as a teacher. The past few years have been stuffed to capacity with trainings and seminars and anything else that falls under the guise of professional development. It wasn’t until spending time with the Freedom Writers and Erin as well as running the marathon that it all fell in to place. Rather than using the tools I’ve been given to teach someone else’s way, I’ve got to find a way to re-focus on what it is that makes my classroom unique and use these new tools to improve upon that. You don’t build because you have the tools; you have the tools because you want to build. Tomorrow, it’s back to the workshop.