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

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

https://sawbonah.com/2021/05/04/im-not-a-runner-but-i-got-some-kids-to-sign-up-for-my-after-school-running-club/
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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…

The Movement Memoirs: Day 1

“You Can’t Trust Your Thoughts!”

The mind and body are not separate units, but one integrated system.

Bernie Siegel, M.D.

The Movement Memoirs are starting today as a way to document my commitment to moving my body daily for 30 days. Consider it to be an experiment if you will. What will I learn about myself and this 49-year old body in those 30 days? Can I maintain 30 days of consistent movemment or will I give up?

Today was day 1. The theme for today would have to have been YOU CAN NOT TRUST YOUR THOUGHTS! It is funny and quite interesting at how my mind seems perfectly quiet and contented as long as I sit on the sofa watching television. No push back at all. Thoughts silent.

The moment I mutter “I need to exercise today,” I began thinking about all the things I need to do BEFORE I start said exercise. I mean all sorts of thoughts! I seem to literally start rationalizing why it would be better to just wait until tomorrow. And I have tried waiting until tomorrow! That tomorrow turns into another tomorrow and another tomorrow and before you know it a week is gone!

There was a real Wrestlemania going on in my head and all I wanted to do was get on my treadmill and start my Couch to 5K app!

I literally had to perform a manual override of my prominent thought, put my tights on, lace up my sneakers and step on the treadmill!!

I began to walk slowly. The app gave me 5 minutes to warm up before the walk/run intervals started. It was rocky at first because I could literally hear “There is no point to this. Just wait until tomorrow. It’s too late in the day. You work out better in the mornings!” I mean all kinds of gobbledygook!

I kept moving and I literally had to say out loud “NO, KEEP GOING!” Eventually the nagging voice stopped and the run intervals got easier. I couldn’t help thinking “Man, you cannot trust your thoughts!”

My body did exactly what I told it to do today. I decided to keep going and I was able to finish the entire workout…all 25 minutes! And felt better afterward.

Why were my own thoughts fighting me? Movement is good for me but why was I arguing with myself to just get started?!

Day 1 down. Goal achieved today. Will I win the battle each day for the next 29 days? We shall see.

Broken Heart-itis. Have You Had It? From The Recovery Chronicles #2

“You can’t blame gravity for falling in love.”

-Albert Einstein

This time I thought I was going to die! I mean, for real!! “I MUST BE LEAVING THIS PLANET TODAY!” I thought. Suddenly, I became Fred Sanford, “This is the BIG ONE! I comin’ to join you, honey! With a hole in my heart!”

I mean it sure is heck felt like it!

The pain in my chest was SO REAL — indescribable! The knot in my stomach was SO REAL — painful! I could not breathe. I thought I had contracted some terminal illness whose symptoms were just now surfacing. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep.

What the HHEELLLL was wrong with me?! I had contracted an illness alright. However, this illness would not be found in any medical text or diagnosed on WebMD. The illness I had contracted or rather been stricken with was “Broken Heart-itis.

Broken Heart-itis.

At some point in our lives, we have all had it. You give your whole heart to someone, thinking that what the two of you have is surely going to last forever. This time. This is the one. This time. I will never love another. This time. I will never want another. This time.

And this time it is going to be different. Yup!

Then, the unthinkable happens.

Your one and only “true love” tells you they don’t love you anymore or that they don’t feel the same about the relationship anymore or they just ghost you — disappear without warning.

Maybe it’s the other way around, you don’t love them anymore or you no longer want to be in the relationship, or maybe you are the one who ghosts. Whatever the reason or whomever is to blame, you find yourself with a case of Broken Heart-itis now.

This “illness” oftentimes strikes without warning or if there are signs leading to this unbearable disease, you think you will be able to handle it, it won’t be so bad, or even that “it won’t happen to me.”

But it happens. The relationship ends.

They leave. You leave. Whatever the reason. You now find yourself dealing with a set of emotions and mental anguish that no amount of education has prepared you to deal with. What do you do?

Where is the vaccine?

Like most of us, you probably cry your eyes out for what seems like weeks, stay inside your bedroom under the covers for days watching sad movies or listening to sad music, eating comfort food. Maybe you even beg the other person to change their minds, send countless texts and emails, seek revenge (I DO NOT advise this!!), drive by their homes, stalk their social media pages, talk to their family and friends, or begin dating random people! The list could go on and on.

So, let’s just say, we have done some things we are not proud of when we look back in retrospect.

No one prepares you for this pain. Nothing seems to ease the pain.

There are no talks when you are growing up about what to do when you experience a broken heart. There are no classes in your public or private education that teach you how to navigate the difficult waters of emotional turmoil. It seems to be something we have to go through. Ride out.

And if one more person tells you “You will be ok,” you will SCREAM!

We are told that time heals all wounds and it does for some. For others time heals nothing. Just how do we recover from Broken Heart-itis?

To be continued…

I’m Not a Runner, But I’m Starting a Running Club for Elementary School Students

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.

-Zig Ziglar

I am NOT a runner, but I’m starting a running club for my elementary school students.

Why? Because they need it and maybe because I need it, too.

The pandemic has helped make our youngest members of society even more inactive than they were already becoming. Couple this with growing up in a rural and impoverished community, your outlook on life or even the benefits of being active become rather cloudy.

I was working with our after-school program one evening and the children were engaged in their “30 minutes of physical activity,” amid the complaints and groans of “this is too hard, why do we have to do this?” I witnessed children as young as kindergarten who could barely bend their knees, touch their toes, or even run in place for longer than 30 seconds without stopping and gasping for air. They looked like miniature old people (no slight to our senior citizens because some lead extremely active lifestyles that will put any young person to shame!)

I couldn’t help thinking “What is happening to our children?!” It made me question my own physical activity and how I was taking it for granted. How I was not as consistent as I needed to be with moving my body, knowing my body needs movement to be able to function properly for me as I age. I questioned whether I was being a good role model for them.

Being academically sound is just one piece of the puzzle.

As I looked around the gymnasium at my students’ faces, I couldn’t help thinking how running and jumping and bending should be a right of childhood. How moving can be fun and make you feel better. What I saw were children who were being robbed from the joys of childhood that involved running around and playing outside. What I saw were children who were headed for a future of physical ailments and health issues if they did not incorporate regular physical activity into their lives.

In schools, we are setting foundations for attitudes and behaviors that our children will take into adulthood that are supposed to help them to thrive, survive, and be productive members of society. But what are we modeling? What foundations are we setting? Are we guilty of perpetuating unhealthy lifestyles for them?

Then, out of nowhere it seems, I got the idea “start a running club.” I laughed and engaged in an internal debate with this “voice.”

Me: Running club? Noooo!

The Voice: Yes!

Me: Man, I am not a runner! What can I teach them?

The Voice: You can learn with them.

Me: Yeeeahhh, I could (apprehensively, insert thinking emoji here)…

The Voice: If you dont introduce them to it, who will? What will happen in their lives if you don’t?

Me: A running club, though?

The Voice: Yes. You run (no pun intended) the after-school program. Why not? Give them something to go with those reading and mathematics clubs.

Me: True. What if I fail?

The Voice: You might. But start it anyway.

So, my elementary school running club was born. I began researching if running clubs were even plausible for students in grades K-6. Turns out, they are everywhere! The Road Runners Club of America recommends in their FUNdamentals of Youth Running: Focus on participation and self-improvement. They assert “In elementary school, running should be about participation and developing a healthy lifestyle, not about being the fastest kid in the school or program. Save competition for middle and high school aged students.”

This is exactly what I wanted to be the focus for my young people. I saw this as a sign that maybe this is an assignment for me while I’m here working at this new school and why I may have been selected to run the program. Maybe there were some providential things at work.

I am NOT a runner, but I’m starting a running club for my elementary school students.

I have started running. I have stopped running. I have said I could do it. I have said there’s no way I can do this! Why have I not been able to let running go?

I felt excitement bubbling up on the inside. I thought “Yes, let’s do this and see what happens!”

I took a moment to create the promotional materials to introduce to the students and their parents who were a part of the after-school program.

So, on this Monday, the running club will be introduced to my students and for those that sign up…on this Thursday, we will start.

On THIS Thursday, we will learn to run together, by first starting to walk, then run slowly…very slowly.

Who knows why I was given this idea? Maybe this is one of my assignments while I’m here on this planet.

I always encourage my college-aged sons to “write a different narrative” for the family. I feel this running club may inspire or motivate these young people to write a different narartive for their families and for themselves, and get healthy along the way.

I am NOT a runner, but I’m starting a running club for my elementary school students.

“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” –

John Bingham, No Need for Speed: A Beginner’s Guide to the Joy of Running

From The Recovery Chronicles: #1

Tears are words that need to be written.

-Paulo Coelho

Tired! Sick! Over! Goodbye!

Because sometimes you have to say, enough is enough.

I’m tired of you!
I’m tired of this!
All of this mess
I have decided to quit

Sick of being ignored
Talking to the air
Holding on
Bae, nothin about this
is fun

You pick me up
And put me down
at a whim
“The Vanishing”
Should be your pseudonym

This shit has gotten so old
Listening to all your excuses
And the lies
Constantly told

I’m sick of you!
I’m sick of this!
How long did you think
I would tolerate
this bullshit?

You can’t seem to
Ever find time for me
Tell me why
Neva’ mind…
Just let me be

You are so tired
And busted
You take me for granted
And with you
I’m disgusted

I’m over you!
I’m over this!
This train wreck
I plan to miss

You can’t have your cake
and eat it too
Did you think I
would not get tired of you?

I’m getting away from you!
I’m getting away from this!
Yeah, I fell for
the scams and
deceived by your kiss

Actually believing
that you just had
a lot to do
Dog, did you think
I wouldn’t ever get tired
of playing with you?

Good bye to you!
Good bye to all this!
Bruh, I’m pulling myself
Out of this abyss

More of this crap
I will not take
It’s over for this nightmare
And self-imposed heartache

Tired! Sick! Over!
Goodbye!
In my best Yoda voice
There is no try.

That Kinda Love

It’s all about falling in love with yourself and sharing that love with someone who appreciates you…

Eartha Kitt

I want
That kinda love 
That’s electric 
The kind
That sends 
Chills
Down my spine
At the mere 
Mention
Of your name

That kinda love
That makes
Me smile
From the inside
To the outside
For no reason 
For any reason 
And every reason

I want
That kinda love
That makes
Me glow
Bright
As the sun
And
Be as
Luminous
As a Moon lit night

That kinda love
The way 
Barack
Looked at
The way 
Barack held
Michelle
When they
Became
The first

I want
That kinda love
I look forward to
At the end
Of every day
The kind that
Washes
Fears and worries away

That kinda love
That gives
And receives
Is patient 
Kind
Forgives
Accepts
Wants to please

I want 
That kinda love 
That listens 
To me
Dreams
With me
Excites me
Inspires me

That kinda love
That Makes us
Look like
We vibrate
We gel
That We 
Go Together 
Exceptionally 
Well

I want
That kinda love
That is
My equal
You for me
Me for you
We our
Own kind of people

That kinda love
That calms
The turbulent waters
Of my soul
The kind
That gets better
And sweeter
As it gets Old

The List

Define who you are and what you are, and be clear on that. Meditate on that and then, live and die by that…

Nipsey Hussle

Lately I have been compiling
A List…

The do’s
And don’ts
The will’s
And won’ts
The yeses
And the no’s
The X’s
And the O’s

Like

Do
Kiss me everyday 
Don’t 
Push me away 
I will 
Hold you down
I won’t 
Chase you around 
Yes
You can have me
Anytime
No
I won’t dull your 
Shine

Do
Communicate with me
Don’t
Ignore and wait to see
I Will
Celebrate you
I Won’t
Tolerate the run-through
Yes
You need to read
To develop, to evolve, to grow
No
I can’t pretend
That what you feed your mind doesn’t show

Lately, I have been compiling
The List…

Lots of X’s
And O’s
Plenty of yeses
And HELL NO’s

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