Welcome back, Belmont Day. We missed you!
As we get the year started, I find myself thinking back to a bit of a personal milestone from what seems like a decade ago. It was, in fact, not two years ago in October of 2019, when my wife and I ran the Cape Cod Marathon. It was my first–and only–marathon, and I was grateful for the support from this community in the form of training and nutritional tips from parents to enthusiastic cheering from students and colleagues.
We trained well, which is to say that we dutifully and diligently followed the training regimen we were given and we happened to enjoy some fortunate and spectacular weather along the way. Our long runs were on Sundays–14, 16, 18 miles each–and somehow, it seemed, the weather was always sunny, in the low 60s, and just breezy enough to provide relief but never creating any kind of menacing headwinds. I am sure there were some less than perfect days, but I don’t remember it that way. So, for the last weekend in October, we were ready.
Or, so we thought.
On race day, with most of the course running along the coast of Falmouth, Mass., we knew the winds were going to be an issue, or, at least, not as pleasant as they had been through our training. In fact, we found ourselves running directly into a driving rain for the last three miles of the course. Our time was 4:47, much slower than our training pace, and, at first, it felt a little disappointing.
We had taken all the right steps, followed every preparation to the letter, and were training at a much faster clip than our race day times would suggest. But, sometimes, the rain falls and the wind blows and what you imagined looked different than what actually occurred.
Which brings me to last year and how I and many of my colleagues felt at the end of the 2020-21 school year. At 4:47, we collectively found the will to cross the finish line, even though the school year we had trained for did not exactly transpire the way we had hoped it would. The storm we faced was a strong one and it left us fighting those headwinds for much of the year, not just the last three miles.
This summer, as I reflected on last year, I found myself thinking again about that marathon. And I realized that most of the time I spent thinking about it all was when I was out on another training run. I may be logging more modest mileage these days, but I realized that all of that training builds on the time, energy, and dedication of the training that came before it. I feel ready for another run, and, if necessary, ready to run against the rain again.
So it is with our BDS community. We’re prepared to run again. We know we can face the headwinds and can keep running. We’re stronger in what we’ve learned about ourselves: our resiliency, our innovation, our commitment to the individual experience of each child and to their growth. That’s what we all get to take with us as we start another run together this fall.
Looking forward to seeing you all at the starting line. (I’m aiming for sub-4:00 this year!)