Friday, September 07, 2012

The only disability in life is a bad attitude

This week is my first week back at school - both teaching and attending.  Because my role at the elementary school is support, it means I must be flexible enough to fill in for anyone/anything.  I'm good with that for a number of reasons, not the least of which I get to know all the kids that way.  As I remind them, they only have to remember my name, but I have to remember 500 names, so if I call them by the wrong name (or by a sibling's name), it's not personal.

Last week, just before the start of the school year, the principal sent me an email asking me to cover for the PE teacher for a week.  I'm down with that.  I like filling in for her and she has requested me in the past as I know the kids and she trusts me to keep things safe and fun.  Besides, who doesn't love games that involve throwing yarn balls in an organized chaos manner?

Here's the tough part: making it to November Project Workouts and get home in time to shower and get to school.  Then, at least two nights a week, I'm on the FSU campus until 9:30ish taking classes.  It makes for a long day but it also is a chance to think about priorities in my life.

Which leads me back to the quote from figure skater Scott Hamilton I used here: "The only disability in life is a bad attitude."

Oscar Pistorius competed in the Olympics even though he was born without femur bones.  Often called "The Blade Runner" and "The fastest man on no legs," he sued for the right to compete with "normal" athletes and showed the world that he was as good, if not better, than the majority of us born with two working legs and just don't use them.  Jon Lester came back from cancer and pitched a no hitter and was the starting pitcher of the World Series game 4 in 2007.  Bethany Hamilton  is a competitive surfer who lost her left arm to a shark at the age of 13.  Jim Abbott pitched a no-hitter against Cleveland and was born without a right hand.  Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team and worked hard to make them regret that decision.

The list is long and goes on and on and on.  I did put up a bulletin board in the gym with many of those athletes to remind the kids that a scraped knee, yarn ball in the face or wearing flip flops do not qualify as good reasons for sitting on the sidelines.  Which is why, when one of the kids told me it was raining too hard to do a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g I showed him this picture:

Yep, that's the November project folks taking on the Frogman 1 challenge in the pouring rain.  And those were the early folks (including me hiding above the section so I could get a picture).  I told him I was so wet that it looked like I took a shower by the time I got home!

I should note it was not the same kid who mocked my "I run like a girl" shirt, but it was one of his friends.  I don't think those guys will give me any grief about this stuff in the future.

But Scott Hamilton's words speak to me as well.  I can easily say it's too much to get up even earlier to start my workouts early and be finishing when most everyone else is arriving.  I'll be honest, I missed the high fiving and encouragement at the beginning.  Even worse, now that I have some of the timing down a bit better, I'll be arriving earlier so that I can get in a full workout rather than have to cut things short to get home in time to be ready to get to work on time.  I need to change my attitude a little.

Another thing is some of my habits.  My husband helped this week.  He started making sure the coffee maker was ready to go so I could just push the button when I got home.  It's a little thing that makes a big difference for me.  I also know that if I pack my lunch the night before, it makes the next morning easier.  Breakfast is easy enough to make while the coffee brews and it's faster to ride my bike instead of drive.

Give up on November Project?  Not yet:

The only disability in life is a bad attitude.  What's your excuse?

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