Pacing & why I need to stop reading articles that make me angry

As many of you know I run marathons, and running long distances is all about pacing. If you go too fast in the beginning you blow up and have nothing left for the later miles. You start off to slow, and you miss out on running a good time. Like many things in life, running is about pacing yourself. Why am I taking this opportunity to talk to you about distance running? I found myself reading an article about a parent who didn’t know how to pace herself.

Ordinarily I find it pretty easy to read an article that I don’t agree with. I tend to enjoy considering the perspectives of others, particularly those dissimilar to my own view of the world. I have always felt it made me better equipped to manage conflicting opinions. A few days ago, I found that my patience for the opinions of others was pushed to its limit.

Like many of you do each day, I was going through the feed on one of my social networks and I came across an article entitled Worst End of School Year Mom Ever [http://goo.gl/zJUOtB]. I think the article was meant to be a good natured ribbing at the way everyone is a bit burned out at this time of year. I thought it was funny the way the author relayed the beginning of the year excitement. I thought it was funny the way she described her kids’ old backpacks. When she got to the part where she tapped out in April and it’s a miracle her kids are still going to school I started to feel my blood pressure rise.

I made it through the entire article and while it may have taken a few hours, I eventually figured out that while I was certainly upset with the author for what seemed like a call for apathy in the month of May, I was also wrestling with a solution. How do we maintain momentum so we don’t burn ourselves out? How might be differently engage our students and parents when the end of the school year draws near and comfortable routines become a bit too comfortable? How do we make sure everyone paces themselves, and maybe even adjusts their pace at different times in the year, to ensure we hit the end of the year strong?

We talk a lot about the habits of leadership at Condit, like putting first things first and being proactive and after reading this article I’m starting to think that in this case article I can boil it all down to don’t mail it in! This year I’ve had the opportunity to talk about being resilient, losing the fear of failure, and making things right. What I found so distasteful about this article was it seemed to advocate giving up, and that is the one thing we don’t ever want our students to do. I think it goes without saying that when parents throw in the towel, children pick up on that and follow form. While this year may be at an end, next year will bring times when giving 100% effort is tough. Let’s commit to working hard to maintain momentum, even when we don’t want to.

When you read this article you will be well into sharpening your saw, enjoying the greatness of summer vacation. I hope your adventures allow you to rest, relax, and recharge so you are ready for 2015-2016, which is sure to be our best year yet.

What will I be doing as the temperatures rise and building feels just a little too empty? I’ll be training for my October race, working on my pacing. #conditproud

I’ll miss you all. See you in August.

Dan

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