When you drive a car you don’t feel the distance you cover just the comfort of a cushioned seat. You hear the engine roar but you don’t appreciate the effort needed to push forward because you have the car on cruise control. There is no perspective except the one in your rear-view mirror.
When you run through the mud in the woods, wet and cold and know that there is a finish line to cross while overcoming the obstacles set before you, a different feeling envelops you. It’s power, but your own. It’s your will, strength and determination that follow that power to the finish line. When I cross it I get a sense of pride because I know I got there on my own two legs, without help or a vehicle carrying me to my destination.
Last weekend I completed the Runmageddon hardcore event and gave a fist pump when I was done. I get that feeling with teaching sometimes. A fist pump when I am done. The fist pump is validation of the effort and the success when I finish the lesson or the run. In the classroom that feeling comes when you’ve pushed yourself to try and innovate your approach to teaching and challenging yourself but getting out of the comfort zone. For me, the coursebook is the car, you open the page you finished at and go in cruise control from one exercise to the next, and cruise to the end of the chapter. It’s easy, comfortable and requires barely any effort.
When you push that coursebook aside and take the path of most resistance, the lesson is in your hands, just like the run is in the strength of your legs. That’s of course something that needs constant training to improve at. But the validation is a fist pump instead of a cup of coffee and a cushioned seat.
Go get ’em.