Posted tagged ‘Determination’

The 200 Mile Club

May 29, 2018

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                       May 29, 2018

                                      

It was an idea that sounded good, like toilet-papering the principal’s car on the last day of school or eating Captain Crunch cereal every meal for an entire summer, as did a college classmate of mine!

An idea that sounded like a challenge!

Coach Schneiderman, 6th Grade Math teacher, offered it up before he did the math. 

“What if we challenged the cross-country kids to run 200 miles during the summer? We could give some kind of prize or shirt to those who do it?”

“That’s a great idea, Coach! Maybe get shirts that say Timberview Cross-Country 200 Mile Club!”

A few minutes later Coach Schneiderman offered a scaled down figure. “Maybe 150 miles!”

I, however, had already penciled in the number 200! There are about eleven weeks in vacation summer. Two hundred split amongst seventy-seven days is about two and a half miles a day…if a person runs every day!

Sold! I presented the idea to the students who came to a brief cross-country meeting the last week of school. Some looked at me like I was a crazed coach and others were inspired by the challenge.

And then I decided to take up the challenge myself! What??????

Perhaps it came from memories of long distance runs that I used to take: running along the top of the flood walls of Ironton, Ohio; running the roads of Oxford, Ohio; running, along with 3 other Judson College teammates, 25 miles for charity once time; and running up Barr Trail in Colorado Springs as I trained for the Pike’s Peak Ascent.

But that’s been a few years, and I haven’t been getting any younger! In fact, Carol says I should have my cell phone with me when I run in case something happens. I inferred from that remark that the “something” was a heart attack, not that I stumbled and twisted my ankle. Sixty-four year olds may be one three mile run away from eternity!

So I’ve started. Six days in and I’m at 18 miles. My knees seem more like 180 miles. My body screams at me in unkind ways. 

Perseverance and determination, that’s what keeps me going. So far I’ve only been running laps around the Timberview track. It brings back memories of running around the Ironton Junior High School track I lived about a half mile from. In those days I’d run 24 laps, six miles, around the cinder oval. This summer I’ll begin to widen my circle and run some trails and streets close by. 

18 miles in, only 182 to go! After today I’ll be more than 10% towards the goal…barely!

In August I look forward to celebrating with the other runners who took up and met the challenge.

I’m also hoping to be about twenty pounds lighter by then, a pound for every ten miles! When I graduated from Ironton High School in 1972 I weighed 110 pounds. Now my right leg weighs about that much!

And when an eighth grader whines to me that 200 miles was too hard I’ll show him/her my running chart and say, “Your 64 year old coach did it!” 

“Oh!”

The Determination of Whacked People

June 20, 2015

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                     June 19, 2015

                                      

The sadness of nine people murdered in the midst of a church bible study gathering! Different people put different spins on the why and how. I guess these few words may very well be another opinion.

For me it comes down to a lot of different things, and yet just one standout observance. People who are whacked often are determined to do whatever it is that has invaded their hearts and minds. If it is to go into an African-American church and start shooting because of white supremacist beliefs…and he can’t see past the hatred, there isn’t much that can be done to unconvinced him.

Whacked people are imbalanced and irrational. They come in all age groups and nationalities. How they arrived at such a state of weirdo-ism is on unexplainable. Dylann Roof didn’t just wake up in the morning and decide to kill nine people. He sent time allowing the seeds of racism to grow in his mind and soul. He was influenced by people who could use rhetoric to distort reality while motivating. He let an illusion what a hero is to infect his judgment. At some point he had made up his mind, but that point was after he had crossed the line of common sense and “whacked status.”

Unfortunately, we are getting used to the whacked doing news-numbing things. As the number of different ideologies increases the number of whacked jobs will increase as well. People become passionate for the right reasons…but also for the wrong reasons! A person who is passionate for the wrong reasons is often terrifying to the rest of us.

The tragedy is that there will be another person who is whacked sometime in the next few days, weeks, or months who determines to do something unthinkable…and despite our best efforts won’t be able to prevent it.

I’ve been on a college campus today and I’ve noticed the concrete posts in front of various buildings meant to hinder any vehicle that tries to get close. The college security is trying to the best of its abilities to deter a tragedy from happening, but sometimes determined whacked people keep looking until they find a way.

God help us!