I have a 'big' birthday looming on the horizon and I wanted to do a couple of things a little outside my comfort zone before I reached that milestone. My son-in-law invited me to participate in an Ultra Ragnar in Napa Valley, California. My other children have participated in a Ragnar and I thought it would be a good experience. I didn't realize at first that the 'ultra' word meant that I would be running twice as many miles as the average Ragnar runner. I have to admit that I was scared to death. Another fact was that the only other person on my team of six that I knew was my son-in-law. I was worried that the other four would be super athletes who wouldn't appreciate 'grandpa' slowing them down. I flew to California last week frantic that I wouldn't be able to keep up and complete my 28 miles.
It was an experience. Six guys in a van sending a runner out and meeting him at the end of his leg for 30 straight hours. 195 miles is a long way! The good news is that I made it! Even though it was pouring rain for a good share of my runs, I was able to complete my three legs of the race. The best part of the experience was that the other five men were wonderful human beings who spent the entire time cheering the other members to completion. My anxiety had been for nothing. Although good athletes, they were better human beings. Being the teacher that I am, it made me think of all the children who show up at school with the anxiety of not knowing what comes next. Like my van-mates, a good teacher will be a human being first and alleviate that fear of the unexpected.
I know that many people my age are reluctant to do anything outside their comfort zone. I'm so glad that I did. I was proud of my accomplishment and the experience added another dimension to my wonderful life. I owe it all to my son-in-law. Thanks, Zac.