I’m Not a Runner, But I Got Some Kids to Sign Up for my After-School Running Club

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.

Arthur Ashe

I’m not a runner, but I got some kids to sign up for my after-school running club. Cue Poppy & Branch from the movie Trolls

I got this feelin' inside my bones
It goes electric, wavy when I turn it on
All through my city, all through my home
We're flyin' up, no ceilin', when we in our zone

I got that sunshine in my pocket
Got that good soul in my feet
I feel that hot blood in my body when it drops (ooh)

Just a little theme music to listen to as you finish reading this post!

I’m not a runner, but I got some kids to sign up for my after-school running club! How bout 20 precocious participants believe it or not?!

Recruitment started out kind of shaky.

Everyone filed into the gymnasium rather energetically and took their socially distanced spots on the floor. Surveys were passed out with with words for the older children and pictures for the younger children with names of the clubs that would be available after school on Thursdays and Fridays.

Running was competing with two powerhouses…ART & MUSIC(I don’t understand how they are such heavy hitters when schools like mine have virtually erased those kinds of subjects from the curriculum…but I digress.) I began to give my spiel.

Running was placed at the top of the list with a cute graphic of a happy child running. I figured if I placed it first no one would be interested after I began describing the other clubs available and teachers who will be sponsoring those clubs.

Spiel ended. I began circulating aroung the room checking for perplexed faces or anyone needing help. Inwardly thinking, “Well, no one is going to sign up. There, I tried! Oh, well.” Then, there came a small voice, “Dr. B, what is a running club? I can’t run.” Before I knew it, I blurted out “Me either! But we can learn together! And if I pass out, you can call someone to come get me!” We both started laughing.

I didn’t realize there were others listening to our conversation. Another little voice asked “What if I can’t do it?” I asked “What if I can’t? Are you going to help me?” He said “Sure, I will help you!” I responded “Then I will be there to help you, too. We can help each other. I probably will need you more than you need me since I am an old lady.” The child said “Okay, Dr. B.”

As I continued walking around the room, I noticed some of my upper elementary students start to loosen up and beckon me to come over. There were a group of girls and one asked, “What if you are too heavy to run?” I responded, “Then you can walk. We will walk some and then run/jog some. Eventually it should become easier. The thing is you have to try.”

I could see she was really giving it some thought. Yet, the other girls didn’t seem to be convinced. Who knew how hard it was being a sixth grader and being different from your friends? I left the group alone and proceeded to go back to the front of the room to wrap up the surveys.

“Students, make sure your name is at the top and that you have chosen 2 things you want to be a part of each week.”

My assistant collected the surveys for me to compile later. The students began to collect their items and file out of the room to the next activity. As they walked by me 2 or 3 kindergarteners said “I signed up for running. I want to help you run, Dr. B.” A few of the older students filed by and a couple said, “Yeah, we signed up, too. It might be fun.” The last student out was the young lady who was concerend about her weight, handed me her folded paper and walked away.

I opened her paper. Checked what looked to be ART and MUSIC first…but then music had a line drawn through it and a big check mark placed next to running. I thought, “wow, no turning back now.”

As I sat down to go through the rest of the surveys and complile rosters for the different clubs, of course music was the clear front runner. But coming in a close second was RUNNING CLUB with Dr. B!

I was totally shocked and humbled. Twenty(20) young people signed up to learn to run with me after school. I could hear these lyrics from Justin Timberlake’s song:

When we move, well, you already know
So just imagine, just imagine, just imagine...

Just imagine…I’m not a runner, but I got 20 kids to sign up for my after school running club.

Just imagine the possibilities…

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The Running Rebel

Just a below average runner sharing her running journey and keeping it real.


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