Yesterday, I went on a run with Team in Training – the charity that raises money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society… http://www.teamintraining.org/ We were to run 8 miles up and down hills. I was petrified of injuring myself, especially my knees. I have previously never run more than 7 miles without feeling it in my knees, at which point I quit for about 6 months until I feel better and nice and chubby.
As we ran I joined up with a lovely lady named Cami. She and I started talking about her brother who is fourteen and has received very mixed grades at school in the last year. As I huffed and puffed along and talked so that I wouldn’t think about running, I was reminded of the terrible way that I had approached my 5th grader when he first brought home mixed grades this last October and November.
I believe my husband and I simultaneously asked..”why aren’t you studying?” “Are you just being lazy?” “Don’t you understand the process?” Finally, my child, barely holding back the tears managed to get out that he had no clue how to study, because he had managed to get all the way through the school system up until this point without studying.
Now he felt like a real idiot that he needed to study, because he had been branded at school as a “smart kid” and apparently smart kids do not need to study. I apologised (being a respectful mom) and bought him some index cards. Then, I gently showed him, that you read the text at least three days in advance. You make some notes. You read the text over two night before. The night before the test, all you should do is to read your notecards.
Cami’s brother was also being told he was lazy. But he is 14 and has much greater face to lose than an 11 year old. Of course, it is difficult for him to ask for help, because he is one of those “smart kids” and thinks he has just turned “stoopid” overnight. Now everyone is calling him lazy and the saddest turn of events would be if he began to think of himself as lazy.
So now we return to my over-riding fear of running 8 miles. I don’t think many people would claim I was lazy if I didn’t run the eight miles, but for those who tell people “you are lazy” for not walking a mile, or whatever their challenge may be…I challenge you…that the issue is not laziness, but probably just being overwhelmed by the challenge at hand.
I ran the eight miles, I didn’t get hurt. I also had three to four people, from coaches to the lovely Cami who ran with me, telling me YOU CAN DO IT! I HAVE FAITH IN YOU.