Tuesday, June 28, 2011
I was reading the paper Sunday morning (one of my favorite all time rituals) and noticed the lack of argument over school funding. This surprised me because for the last nine months school funding issues have been at the forefront of the local/state picture.
This got me thinking; I remembered how one of the biggest complaints among educators every fall is how much the students have forgotten or regressed over the summer.
Then I thought some more. And I came to the conclusion that it is unrealistic to expect students to care about their education over the summer if the adults in their lives also take a summer vacation. Have any of us ever considered that each school year would be less of a funding and priority battle if we, as the responsible ones, kept our attention on the issues regardless of season? Out of sight out of mind is a plague of the American consciousness; if an issue isn't staring us in the face making us immediately angry or uncomfortable we let it slip from our attention and cease to care about it. That is until it jumps into our view again and we have to start over at square one, making up all our lost ground with little actual progress. Sounds a bit like students at the first of the school year, doesn't it?
If you expect your kids to learn and achieve, don't take the summer off; don't wait for the solutions to be provided for you. Get involved, stay involved and keep everyone else aware that education doesn't just happen from September to June. It takes commitment year-round to ensure our kids get the education they need and deserve.
Remember, our kids are watching; if we think about schools even when they're not in session, they will too.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
I think I've made it clear that I am building slowly (think glaciers) into barefoot running. I have been making progress, but it is incremental at best and probably only noticeable from one run to the next by me. I set out yesterday for my run and it was going well, I thought. I did my usual lap around the park, but was feeling strong so I decided to keep going. I pulled another lap around the perimeter of the park and then ran the full load home.
At this point I was pretty stoked because i had achieved a persistent 15-minute run without walk breaks. I told you I was building it slow; stop looking at me with your judgmental eyes. Any way; I checked the GPS and saw the numbers: .96 mile! I was so close to the "first barefoot mile" mark and I didn't even feel awful. This was a good day! I wasn't shooting for distance at all, so it was quite a surprise.
My form is still developing and I have some friction blisters on my feet today, but that's just part of the deal and keeps me humble and slow-going. Gotta work on that; I haven't found good reference videos of good barefoot form yet. Anyone got any suggestions? Leave a comment and let me know!
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
I don't brag on my wife enough. She is my best friend, a heckuva teacher and my biggest cheerleader (aside from my kids, that is. Nobody tops Stinky for cheering on dad).
This last week has been really trying, for reasons I won't go into detail about; it is summed up pretty well by saying my dream of going into teaching was almost dead in the water. When things like this happen I get stuck in my head and focus a little too much on the catastrophic possibilities. Jen has been encouraging me and sticking by me all through this week while we waded through some murky, incredibly stinky waters. She's great like that, and I can always count on her to be there, though I am always surprised at how she keeps it up (I give her plenty of reason to tell me to take a flying leap) each and every time*.
She has been a huge supporter of my running renaissance as well. She has also made a return to running this year (though with *sigh* shoes. We'll work on that later...) and has been encouraging me to get out there for a run even (especially) on the days I just didn't want to. She's my best pal and I'm lucky as a guy can be to have her. So raise a glass, all you lot, to the wife (or husband or committed life partner, if it so applies to your situation). Without 'em we'd be sunk.
Later; I'm off for a run.
*Special thanks also go out to my folks. Words can't express how much we appreciate you, mom & dad. You are the best.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
First off - I checked the distance on last night's run: a measly 1/2 mile. But, it was all barefoot so I am making progress.
The shocking piece is the utter lack of pain and soreness today! I fully expected calves contracted into knots and achilles tendons shrunken in revolt. Turns out that my only issue was some hot spots (or pre-blisters, either one will do) on the balls of my feet. This is totally normal and expected, reminding me that A). my form is not quite ready for prime time and B.) I went just far enough without pushing it too far (i.e. no irreparable damage).
OK, enough with the boring run recap.
The other thing I am working on is leading a more active overall life. I'm focused on getting off my (enlarged) arse and incorporating movement into my daily routine. Long ago this wasn't a problem. Mrs. M and I lived in the city and I used my bike for a large portion of my transportational needs. Of course that city was Seattle and the food and beverage options cancelled out my activity, rendering me, as a coworker so subtly pointed out (in front of a customer) a "big guy."
Stay strong, fellow fitness-seekers. Summer is tough. Sure the weather is great for exercise; but the cool treats are there, lurking in the shadows, waiting to kneecap us and keep us off the road, trail, gym floor.
Curse you, Ice Cream Man.
So, be a follower; all the cool kids are doing it. Once I get to fifteen (15) followers I will hold a drawing. One of you lucky folks will be the recipient of a $15 gift card to either REI (my favorite store on the planet) or Target (most rational peoples favorite place for basic need stuff). Seriously, how much can it hurt to click an icon?
Monday, June 20, 2011
I'm keeping with my mission to bore you with reports on every little run I must share today's with you.
Since my phone has decided to only work when it feels like it, I have no data on distance until tomorrow; I'll let you know on that. Either way, I pulled off two full laps around the park loop, followed by continued running from the park back to my house. This is THE longest continuous stretch of shoeless running yet for me. It feels like a huge milestone and a big victory.
Tomorrow it will feel like my legs are going to explode from the knees down.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Saturday, June 18, 2011
yes. yes I am.
Any way. In my past incarnations of runnerdom I hated running in anything less than "perfect" weather, defined as 80-ish degrees, sunny and low humidity. I'd do it, but I'd hate it. One thing I wouldn't do is run in the rain.
It is the WORST.
I've worn Glasses for 25 years. This has made me dislike doing many things out in the rain; but running was always the worst because not only did my glasses get all spattered but they fogged up as well, rendering me blind(er).
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Friday, June 10, 2011
Anyone who knows me knows I am not the most patient guy. So being delayed in my progress is killing me and forcing me to find other ways to keep motivated. So I've been reading; I've consumed two barefoot running-related books recently. Well, finished one motivational, working through another more instructional now.
The other is a barefoot running instructional book. It's probably only interesting if you want to try barefooting. Leave a comment if you're interested and I'll hit you with the details.
Summer's finally here, so I need to go ice my foot and get back to form. Later!