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When I think about what to teach, to share, to say, I am guided by this thought: What do I wish someone would have told me when I was in that student seat?
I believe that exercise and fitness is interwoven with cognition.
Rough night. Running a little late, sun already coming up for a one-hundred degree day. A little sore. Wake at 0440, too dark to run. Alarm goes off — ahhhhhh half-hour more.
Then I get up and run it and my time is uggggghhhh and this hill is a pull and…
You know why I do it? (Yes you do because you read my motives, already posted.)
Leadership by example.
I am working on folding in a “fitness journal” facet of the journal part of my gradebook. This is my answer to the question “What is your motivation in maintaining fitness?”
Running a treadmill indoors. I can understand this if you’re in a location of inclement weather or hostile territory, but other than that…
(If it works for you, well, keep on it.)
A lot of folks burn out on their fitness program because it feels like the psychological treadmill. They give up.
You full-of-piss-and-vinegar youngsters might scoff, but wait until you’ve run miles and miles over days and weeks and years and decades. You’re mid-career. You’ve got kids. You’re dragging at day’s end and the table needs to be set. You’ve slipped up and a few pounds are on. Or ten. Or twenty…
You gonna keep it up? What is your motivation?
At 50, my motivations:
The fitness of the body effects the fitness of the mind and spirit.
That lard you’re consuming chokes your arteries and blood flow.
The brain works on blood flow.
Cut the flow and the thinking suffers; it’s a no-brainer.
I want to be able to trek during retirement – which at present looks like no sooner than age sixty-five.
I need to be here for others.
Several others, at an intimate level, but depending on the day or hour, perhaps thirty, one of whom may be important to you.
I am a teacher, and although my primary mission is instruction of techniques of thinking, I am also the guardian of the physical safety of my charges: in the event of danger, I might need to assume command. To explain:
I work in an area in which there is the belief that living on the “mean streets” – a climate created by espousing that credo and contributing, often unconsciously, to that violence – gives one greater machismo and “credibility” than people raised in safe neighborhoods.
(Note: “machismo” now applies to young women, who are becoming increasingly likely to express femininity through violence, e.g., the title “bitch” becoming an honorific.) It can get pretty tense. A strong presence can stop the escalation.
I also work and live on the Hayward Fault, in a flood zone, and under the glidepath of several airports. Dangers more demanding.
If some nasty grief or drama unfolds, the teacher is the incident commander until the “higher payscale” arrives on scene. Unlikely occurrences, but entirely possible – it only takes once.
My specific training objectives:
To survive a disaster and escape it, if alone.
If in company, to carry out the wounded and be the last man to leave the room.
To run from one casualty to the next, keeping composure and the ability to respond and function.
To maintain this until properly relieved.
Honestly, I hope I’m just running the treadmill: excitement is overrated.