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The Pace We Keep: Project 180, Day 174

When I ran the 800 in high school, I ran with guts. I would get outta the gate quick and run till I couldn’t. Turns out guts don’t replace gas, for the piano would often jump on my back around the last bend.

When I raced mountain bikes in college, I would do the same. And though my tactics did yield some success, even wins; it still turned out that guts aren’t gas, and too often, my efforts would fall short, especially in races over 2 hours.

And so, though one would think I would have gained some wisdom from my former follies, I entered the teaching profession with the same go-for-it gusto 21 years ago. And, as one might guess, I have encountered the same, crawl-to -the-finish-line reality that I faced as a racer long ago.

And here I am again. The end in sight. The needle on E. And the promise–formed from my pain–that I will not do it again. I will pace myself next year. I will pace myself next year. I will pace myself next year. No I won’t.

I will jump outta the gate. I will bury the needle deep, thinking I can keep it in the red, believing I have finally gained the endurance to sustain the gutsy pace I like to set, but then, near the end, the engine will sputter, the legs will falter, and I will begin the “I-will-never-do-this-again” crawl to the line.

Of course, teaching isn’t exactly an individual sport. I was alone in my lane on the track. I was alone on my bike on the trail. But I have passengers now. I no longer cross the line alone. I have a 150 in tow. And while we all are generally moving in the same direction all year long, there are lots of side trips, lots a rest stops, lots a circle-backs to pick up the stragglers, and all sorts of other did-not-necessarily-account-for’s along the way. But we make it. We always do. And usually it’s a crawl.

And now after 21 years, though I’d like to boast that I will eventually find a way to pace myself. I can’t put much weight behind it. I am who I am. And I will no doubt live in the stuck-on-repeat history of my past, crawling to the end, eager to step to the line again, believing I can do it this time. On my mark. Set. GO!

Happy Friday, all.



One Reply to “The Pace We Keep: Project 180, Day 174”

  • Monte, I have so enjoyed following the “180 journey ” this school year. And even though I know that your pace has slowed down, I also know that the wheels will turn all summer long in your mind, anticipating next years “180” direction. You always do. Your kids are never far from your mind. I feel and I am sure many others also feel that even though there may have been a few uphill climbs and turn arounds, that you gained some distance in this years travel, and the road is open for next year. new directions and possibilities around every corner.

    You are who you are, my amazing my Son, Just a little proud of you!

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