Sunday, March 23, 2008

Kicking Back

It's been a light week of running since Pac Rim. I felt good on Tuesday, thought I'd give it a shot on Wednesday. Rick came over and we went out for four easy miles. My ankles felt tight and by mile four I could feel a bit of strain up the front of my left ankle - which I was just beginning to feel in the last miles of Pac Rim. I decided to take the rest of the week off and let everything settle down.

I was also feeling a bit of stress from work - pulling together all the last minute details for the in-service I was hosting, so I wasn't sleeping real well. The event was on Friday and came off perfectly. We received very high scores on the evaluations. We had two keynote speakers - one on Learning and the Brain, the other on Math and Science for the Young Child. The participants loved them both. I expected 94 people, but only 79 came. However, they represented 17 colleges. I am happy it went well, and happy it's over.

Yesterday, instead of running, Eric and I went to an awards banquet for volunteers in Pierce County. Riley belongs to the Teen Ambassadors from 4H and they got the Pierce County Youth Group of the Year award for community service. The Governor was there to speak and greet the volunteers. This was a huge event that really put my small in-service into perspective - they had nearly 700 attendees. Here's how Riley's day went yesterday: volunteer brunch in the morning, volunteering in the occupational therapy unit at the hospital in the afternoon, volunteering at the 4H Horse Show in the late afternoon and evening. I'm awfully proud of that kid! Eric and I made an effort to model community service for our boys and to get them involved early. It paid off with both - Web volunteered at the animal shelter 10 hours a week for four years, and both boys volunteered through 4H and the Y from a young age on.

Speaking of volunteerism, that is a conversation I've had several times recently. As those belonging to civic groups like the Elks, the Lions, the Eagles, and others begin to age, where will our volunteer base come from? Have we, as a generation of parents, instilled the ethic of community service in our children? Have we taught them that those of us who live in the midst of abundance have a duty to care for those who do not? Have we taught the difference between rights and privilege? Have we taught gratefulness and thankfulness? Lofty questions, but important. The answers to those questions will determine the future of our society and our country.

Okay, off my soapbox and back to running. I ran five comfortable miles on the Orting trail today, at just slightly under a 12 minute pace. I feel great! I've struggled with whole-body fatigue this week, tired out by dinner every night this week. I guess that 50 miles and a big load at work will do that to a girl. It was great to get out and run and feel good today. I'm going back to my usual running/Pilates schedule this week, and that was my last big event at work for this year, so life should return to normal. Happy Easter to all!


Wes said...

You have raised some well rounded boyz. You must be very proud of them! I know I am :-)

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you're feeling good. You've been BUSY lately! Your poor body. :(

I noticed that you're doing R2P as a 6 person relay this year. Wow! Have fun with that! We opted out of Rainier due to the lack of organization, etc. and are doing Ragner relay the same weekend. It is one hilly course!

Have you done Rainier to Ruston before? How is that one?

scott keeps running said...

glad your event was successful. and glad you're feeling well enough for a few miles this week.

Joe said...

Your soapbox topic is good, Michelle. It is a big question. The issue of community service, of giving back, of giving to those in need is huge.

Most kids will get this as a model from adults they is more "caught than taught"...and we had best be making it catchable.

Good for you and Eric. And keep in mind that volunteerism has always been a "few caring the many" and likely still will be.

Yet public narcissim is a are wise to raise it.

Let the legs did awesome last week!!

Jenny, Maniac #401 said...

Happy Easter to you too! Glad to know you were tired too. I also felt good by Tuesday but still didn't run until Saturday. After running, I developed what I thought was a cramp on the side of my foot, it is still here today. I am hoping it is just a cramp and that it will go away. Hope your ankle feels good too!

Meghan said...

Happy Easter to you and your family, also.

It sounds like you raised your children well. You deserve to be very proud.

I'm glad you had a restful week.


robtherunner said...

Good idea to rest up this week. Ease back slowly, especially since you have a marathon right around the corner.

Irene said...

Happy Easter!

The rest will do you good! Take care and have a fabulous week!

Sarah said...

Glad you had a good week!

Makita said...

Your soap box topic is very good... I've had a similar conversation with my dad (when I was in college he used to take me out to breakfast on Saturday - every weekend, a pancake feed at a different lodge; Elks, Lions, etc.).

I struggle with the fact that I am the ONLY one in my age group that volunteers at the museum where the kiddos and I do living history/nature walks. Most are all retired folk, a relatively large number of teens (in the summer - most seeking only to cushion their college app). The living history depart. struggles to portray a realistic picture of life in 1880 with the volunteer base they have. I don't feel they do enough to draw in new, younger volunteers.

Homeschooling certainly has its advantages - my kids love volunteering and though they are young yet... they get it! :)


Sunshine said...

Congratulations to your Whole Family!!
Good to have some soap box once in a while.

Happy successful recovery and resume.

Anne said...

Yes - congratulations to you and to Riley and to Eric and you for raising such terrific children. Sounds like a very fulfilling weekend in the household.

I sometimes wonder about the future of volunteers too. High school kids here do volunteer work, but often only because it's a requirement to get into a UC school. I think it's easier to relate to the need when you come from a family that was forced into dire circumstances. I'm glad the spirit of giving is alive and well where you live.

angie's pink fuzzy said...

glad you can kick back now!

my mom got me involved in volunteering, but i havne't really thought about it with ash. of course, he's only 5 yet, but still. never too early!

Smithposts said...

Good soap on your soapbox! Seems like many of the volunteers active in our Sierra Club group are all getting older. We have discussed the topic a lot and believe that those of us who are aging have more free time than younger people who are still very tied up with kids and other responsibilities.

Have a good rest-recovery week!

wendy said...

Michelle, you're so cool. I think it's a real privilege that we know you - you're one of my favorite people.

I'm glad things are winding down for you, as far as scheduled events go, and that you're feeling so good. I know I always tell you this, but I mean it. I think you're a ROCK STAR!

olga said...

Your boys are wonderful - so does seem your recovery. Sometimes life is almost perfect:) almost just to make it more interesting.

Sunshine Girl said...

Good stuff Michelle - I admire anyone who decides to be a PARENT and anyone who goes out of his or her way to give their up their time and VOLUNTEER. It looks like your little people have grown up to be bigger people!

Sunshine said...

"a holding" .. what a lovely way to speak of a baby!

E-Speed said...

After my 50 miler I had that tired feeling too. It will pass, albeit probably slower than you'd like ;) But it sounds like you are in great shape despite it! (I'm tired by 8 pm and I didn't run a 50 miler this weekend, what's my excuse?)

Jon said...

Thumbs up to Riley for the recognition! The 4H thing still makes me confused with my Chicago upbringing and not remembering anything similar that matches what 4H-ers do. But that's just the city slicker in me. :-)

Sarah Elaine said...

Well done, Riley!

Sounds like you've had a wonderful and busy week.

Sometimes it is perfectly OK to get up on the soap box, too. :-)