On Sunday, a friend of mine ran and finished the Los Angeles marathon. This goal was apparently on her bucket list. A little over ten years ago, another friend ran the L.A. marathon as well and has since run many more half marathons as a means of keeping fit. A third friend and I were talking about these two friends and running. We were proud of their accomplishments, especially since neither were gifted with a natural runner's body. They trained hard to reach their goal and should certainly be proud of what they did and continue to do. As we were talking, I joked that in some ways all four of us were created more for endurance than speed. Slow and steady not lightening fast.
Sometimes though, I dream I was a thoroughbred. Agile, fast, sleek, spirited.
And then I wake-up and realize that I am a Clydesdale. Sturdy, broad, strong, steady.
Though one is not technically better than the other, just different, I sometimes wonder what it would be like to be a thoroughbred. Work horses are very much needed. They have purpose and meaning. However, in my mind, we tend to take our work horses for granted. Do we spend more time fussing over our thoroughbreds bestowing attention and prizes on them while assuming our work horses will always be there? Fast and sleek may win sprints and short distance races. Strong and sturdy can go the long haul.
There is an element of humor in this post, and the horse comparison can only be taken so far, and yet, the real life application is very present. Are there students or teachers that we take for granted because they are steady and dependable? We go to them when we need something done because of their work ethic but maybe overlook them at other times? Every student in our classes and every teacher or administrator on our staff need to be treated at times like they are as important as a prize winning thoroughbred horse. There are times when we need the personality and spirit of a race horse to mix things up and to sprint towards that finish line. However, most growth and learning in individuals and classrooms comes over time and requires perseverance and strength. And it is in those moments when I know I have worked slow and steady and with great strength that I have celebrated some of the greatest accomplishments of my students.
Well Clydesdales may not have the same pizzazz as a thoroughbred, they certainly get cute commercials: