Great Start!

We have a Running Club at SPLS. It is the brainchild of Coach Karyn Scarpa and another parent of SPLS alumni, Mrs. Diane Zalanka. I love getting out there, when I can, to meet and greet and watch kids loop around the track.

Inevitably, there will be several young runners who take off at full tilt in an exaggerated sprint the minute their feet hit the track. As you anticipated, by the first turn they are usually walking.

I remember running the 400 yd “dash” in junior high and facing my own version of this. I was well into the lead rounding the final turn and all of sudden my legs felt like mush and I could barely pick them up and put them down. I can picture classmate Michael Bishop loping past me to win.

Both the young runners and I had the same problem. We started strong but failed to pace ourselves. And we ran out of steam long before reaching our goal.

In chapel this week Mr. Nick Moss reminded students that we were already a week into school.  My thought was that it means we have over 170 days to go! And we need to make sure we (students, parents, teachers) do not run out of steam.

If there are secrets to running that include things like pacing yourself, being aware of where you are, and dividing the race into smaller manageable parts, then we should probably also offer them secrets to school success.

  1. So let’s help students to set reasonable short term goals for the week, the month and the term while keeping in mind the long term goal of finishing the year strong in May.
  2. Let’s help them pace themselves mentally while preparing them for the inevitable bumps in their educational road so that they do not lose heart.
  3. Let’s give them energy boosters by reminding them that their mind will grow this year, as will their skill set, their understanding, their flexibility and physical strength, and their artistic and musical abilities
  4. Let’s notice and remark on their effort, their diligence, their tenacity, their willingness to bounce back from mistakes.
  5. Let’s pray for and with them so they realize the drive to succeed is not simply something they must dredge up themselves but it is also God’s gift to them.

Hebrews 12:1 

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. New International Version (NIV)

In His Children’s Service, Robert C. Boyd


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