One of the last things I wrote was I needed to put in the mileage – I needed time on my feet to get ready for Old Goat. That was my last entry, almost one week ago.
Then the phone started ringing. Our district has a shortage of substitutes apparently, and I can’t rightly refuse work in this financial struggle we’re experiencing in California (not everyone, but a lot of people I know are suffering).
Perhaps you wonder then, why not run after school? Well, after I substitute, I have my regular evening job. I don’t get home until 6 or 7. By then, I can’t run local trails. They are closed. I can’t run mountain trails (driving time is too long) and I wouldn’t dare run in the mountains at night alone.
But I will roll with the punches (which carry cash with them), and . . .
let me tell you . . . I’ve had the experiences that I could have not imagined over the past week. I’ve substituted “severe” special education in middle school, and laughed with joy during “Fun Friday” when the students got to karaoke for a couple hours. I also subbed for “severe” special education in our Transitions Program. Transitions is 4 additional years of school for moderate to severally “handicapped” (disabled) students. I boarded a school bus and met two students at the local junior college. I stayed with them for about 4 hours in their adaptive physical education classes. I knew one of the students from a high school sub assignment last year. It was a wonderful reunion. He pretended to know me. I was thrilled. Then he said that he really didn’t remember, and I laughed and laughed. He was a great chap. We became good pals. The other student was amazing physically. During track time, I was so stunned by his speed, I mentioned to the coach that he should be in some running sport. The coach, though a friendly guy, “blew me off.”
I also subbed a second grade class of thirty something students and no aid. They were precious. But the job was so difficult, an hour in, I text’d my husband, “OMG.” I thought, “Never again!” Then I got a call the next day for first grade. I took it. How can I refuse work???? It helps pay the mortgage, it buys music lessons for the boys, it buys shoes . . .
Mama Mia!!!! Can you imagine how difficult it is to get 30+ first graders’ attention at once? If not, I can tell you: It’s impossible. I am so not an elementary teacher. I am high school. Then to top the first grade day off, the regular teacher wrote me that she promised “dodge ball” for the last hour. The children cheered! And I lead them out to the pavement, thinking, “Easy hour.”
Ends up, I had no less than ten children injured and crying at some point during that game. I don’t know elementary protocol. I don’t know what’s allowed. And so, I treated them as my own children and hugged them until their tears dried. (I don’t think I will ever again play dodge ball with a group of youngsters).
I reserved today (Friday) for running. I received three job opportunities (for kindergarten!). I declined. Then it rained all day long. Locally, snow level is supposedly down to 3,000’ (And I am so jealous). Anyway, due to the downpour, I ran no miles. I slept instead.
The quote Steve Harvey put at the end of his Old Goat Race instructions kept running through my mind all week. “You get to the start line of an Ultra on physical ability, but you get to the finish on character!” At first, this quote gave me great comfort. I figured maybe character will carry me through. Then as the days went by, the quote fell in stature. I started doubting my character, and began thinking that I’d never cross the finish line based on character! The weird things that an upcoming ultra puts you through . . . LOL.
Okay, here’s the facts: I’ve got ZERO miles logged thus far this week. I teach a 6 1/2 hour adult course tomorrow (Saturday). When I come home I am baking a cake (so I won’t be running). The next day is my middle son’s birthday. So, it is likely that this week’s tally will equal a big fat zero. I refuse to fret over this however. I’ve already planned to mark myself “unavailable” for Monday, and I shall go from there – ONWARD.