Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pushing through the Wall

Last year I had the opportunity to teach with a colleague who is a runner. She is one of those people who loves the physical exertion of running, and she methodically trains with a keen understanding of her body and the art of exercise. I know this about her because she often used running metaphors to relate educational concepts to our students. Her penchant to turn to running in her explanations became an inside joke in our community ---especially because most of us, myself included, were not runners.

Recently, I reviewed a manuscript for a few colleagues who love baseball. I know that they love baseball because their text was filled with examples of baseball, arguments about baseball, and laments about their favorite teams. Personally, I related. After all, as a Mets fan I'm in constant defense of my team and in perpetual lament of their standing. I questioned the authors, however, because I wasn't sure that all members of their audience would enjoy the baseball chatter.

I am, somewhere inside of me, an athlete. I am a sports fan. But I am both of these things in my second soul, and perhaps that's why I've questioned my colleagues' use of sports analogies and metaphors. However, as I struggle to hit my stride this semester, I think back to my dad's encouragement as I trained for soccer season in high school, hating every step of the distance runs down our country road. "Push through the wall," he used to say. "Find your stride."

This semester I'm having trouble finding that stride, and a sports analogy is the only way I can describe my struggle. I've been working longer hours than normal, including two 12-16 hour days in the city. I've been getting up before the kids to work on the days I work from home, and I spend good chunks of time on the weekends at my computer. Still I'm just keeping up, sucking wind every day - and hoping this will be the week I hit my stride.

-----Sent from my mobile-----

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