So, this is a rare Saturday morning post, but yesterday I got an unexpected comment on Facebook in response to my plan for next year, and it inspired me. The comment came from Kyle Schlehuber, a former runner, who was on my cross-country team when I was a coach at Royal HS. He reminded me that I was able to take running–an otherwise despised activity–and make it, if not enjoyable, at least less-despicable, often inspiring kids to do what they believed they could not “…to learn…they must understand it and enjoy it. Teachers must be able to provide in a way that they can learn as a team. I feel you can do this as you did as a coach.” Kyle then signed off with, “Got guts?”
Each week on Monday, we celebrated with weekly awards before practice. One of the awards was the “gutsiest performance award” for which kids (both a boy and a girl) were given a “got guts?” shirt for their gutsy performance the previous week. And while I believe over the course of four years Kyle earned a shirt more than once, a particular performance stands out for which he gave his gutsiest ever. At a meet in Zillah, WA with over a mile to go on a rough course, Kyle lost a shoe. It was a tight race, and Kyle was faced with a tough decision: stop and put the shoe back on and lose time and place or keep going with the risk of running slower with only one shoe. Kyle kept going, losing neither time nor place. And though he suffered for it, his performance was critical to our win that day. Truly a “got-guts” performance. So, upon reading his post yesterday, I was both humbled and inspired to keep running for the next two years, even when the road gets rough. Thank you, Kyle. You have helped steel my resolve for what’s to come.
In addition to Kyle’s comments yesterday, another experience conspired against me, pushing me forth through the remnants of doubt lingering in my mind. In yesterday’s post, I referenced the book, The Art of Possibility, a book that I had read nearly ten years ago. The quote I shared yesterday I found online, for I have not cracked the book since. Heck I wasn’t even sure I still had it. So, curious, I dug through my cabinets of books when I got to school yesterday morning, and I found it. And as book lovers will understand, it was an old friend well met. And after a brief embrace, I revisited a memory, the chapter titled, “Giving an A.” This is what I found.
Not sure if you can read it, but I wrote, “I just hope I have the skills and courage to help my kids get there.” Well, ten years later I believe I have found the courage, the “guts;” now, I just hope that I have the skills.
Happy Saturday, all. Find some sunshine today.
- Path of Possibility: Morning Minutes, April 15, 2016
- Essay for Uncle Monte: Morning Minutes, April 18, 2016