Monday, December 19, 2011

For those of you who know me well, you will know that physically speaking, I am very much inflexible. You know how you had to do the sit-and-reach in elementary school? If I got to my toes, it was a good day. Even now, after a run or Jazzercise when my muscles are still warm, I can barely touch the floor. Oddly, my arms are fairly flexible, as I can always scratch itches in odd places on my back or shoulders, but as far as picking something up without bending my knees, forget about it. 

Despite my best efforts, I just do not gain flexibility. At times, and through serious effort, I've been somewhat flexible for a short time. If I make it a point to literally stretch daily, it does seem to help. But, if I'm not exercising, I don't typically sit around watching TV on my family room floor while stretching. 

In life, I try to be flexible. I fail miserably most of the time. I am, and always have been, a planner. I plan everything, as far in advance as possible. I like to know where I'm going, when, and how. I like to plan ahead when it comes to pretty much everything... shopping (I need time to strategize), making meals (I need time to prepare the house in case of fire), going out (I need to convince myself that I'm not, in fact, 95-years-old and can still go out), and pretty much anything else. Planning gets the best of me every time. Even now, I have to look at the week in advance to figure out when I can get my runs in. This is out of necessity -- if I didn't, it's likely I would never. ever. run. 

I suppose the one place I AM flexible is in the classroom. You never know what a day at school is going to hold. And perhaps I'm able to be flexible because I know my content and my kids so well. Today, we were supposed to be reading Huck Finn. I took one look at their glazed over, sugared out eyes and knew that wasn't going to happen. So, instead, we talked about 2011 (their journal tomorrow focuses on 2012 and what they want), and read some stories out of the book, paying attention to characters, setting, and the women in the stories (Kate Chopin's, "The Story of an Hour," how I love thee). And what do you know? Those little buggers paid attention and contributed to discussion. Flexibility, friends, is key with high schoolers. 

So, back to stretching. My friend Lars Schlereth is doing a 365 Day Project (which is almost complete now!) that can be viewed here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/saga_images/

He originally contacted me about taking a picture of my classroom, and came in to speak to my newspaper staff about photography (a win for both of us!). Lars also offered to take some pictures of me for the blog, so on the coldest, rainiest December day we could find, we did just that. 

Training for this half is stretching me in ways I never imagined. Physically, it's making me stretch my limits. Mentally, it's helping me stretch my imagination. And in life, it's focusing me on stretching my goals. 

Who knew a little half marathon could do such a thing? 

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE that picture!!! And yes, I can say Angela has the tightest hamstrings!! It's all good though, when you drop your cane when we get older, I'll bend down and pick it up!!



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