Saturday, November 27, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
So on Friday night, I took my girls to the high school play. But I did not go to play at my new school. Instead, I drove the 30 minutes to Bethlehem to see Freedom's production of Charlotte's Web.
The show, as usual, was outstanding, thanks largely in part to the talents of my dear friend Jen, an exceptional English teacher but an even more exceptional theater goddess. Wonder Woman has nothing on her.
But the best part of the show, and the worst part as well, was seeing several of my squirrels perform on stage, two years since I had last seen them. They seemed to have sprouted into young adults overnight, no longer the much more shy freshmen and sophomores that I remember. They exuded confidence and bravado as they took the stage and the aisles.
I cried at the end, and not because the spider died. I cried for the slight feeling of guilt for leaving behind people for whom I cared greatly, my students and my colleagues. One of my former students, Robbie, lit up when he saw me, grabbing me for a tight hug and laughing hysterically when I asked him to sign my program. He said: "Oh, Ms. Reaman. You know you are one of the only teachers who has ever made me laugh constantly. You 'got' me. And I sure do miss you tremendously."
On the way home, a way that I no longer drive five days a week, I felt a sense of catharsis. I know that I was but a small influence on their lives as they carry on to new challenges and greater tasks. But I will always feel that this school will be a home away from home, not matter how much time passes.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
For several months I labored over the idea of trying to register for a full Ironman race. I know there was only one that I could finish without too much suffering, and it was Florida.
But the chances of getting into the race are rather slim. People fly down for the weekend, just so they can register in person the morning after. And they are in line with volunteers who also fly to Panama City for the chance to have priority sign-up.
And then there are the competitors who can sign up on Friday, the day before they do this year’s race, for the following year.
I knew that I’d have to be lucky to get in.
Well, just like the day I decided to register for New York on a whim, I was lucky.
Within 3 minutes of the race opening its doors for the remaining spots. I got in.
And now? Well, now that my heart has slowed down, I am coming to the realization that a $600 race is really like a $2,000 race. And I can’t screw this up. This is something that I need to do for myself, not for anyone else, not to qualify for something, not to win some age award, not to see some spectacular destination or get a great medal.
This is for me. Because. Because I can, or at least I hope I can.
Someone asked me why. And I just have to say that it’s something I need to do. Not want to do. Need.
I have a few lazy weeks remaining before I need to step back into the water, remount my bike and build up my calluses, step back onto the road and begin building mileage.
I am lucky—lucky to have secured a bib, lucky to have the salary (buoyed by my education) to pay for this, lucky to have friends who will help me train, and lucky to have a supportive family that understands that this is important for me personally, even if they don’t quite get why. And that’s ok, just as long as they are there for me.