Being a Teacher and Runner is Much Like Being Wile E. Coyote


Below is a great post from Runner’s World running blog. I love what Mark had to say about setting goals and staying focus; I think this post applies not only to running, but to life; I am always thinking about my academic goals and ask: Have I done all that I really want to do? Clearly for me the answer is no. I was telling a friend the other day that I have this huge hole in me that I cannot seem to fill; if I am not busy thinking about my classes and what I hope to teach, then I am thinking about what I would like to write about as it relates to various anthropological conclusions and historical narratives. Of course, this is something I hope to or have already inculcated in my classes.

This hole in me is pretty deep. At times not even my passion for teaching can fill it. Teaching can be lonely at times. Thus, many of us seek additional things to help drive our teaching. I told my headmaster not too long ago that if  I did not stay busy and active off campus, I would burnout. This is the opposite of most. I need to be busy with multiple tasks; I am not saying I am a multi-tasker. I am not even close. But I do have a desire to be a constant student. This, I believe, will help me grow as an academic and a teacher.  This approach has driven my return to running this past year as I hope to qualify for the Boston marathon.  I think about my goals and how I hope to achieve them. Below Mark Remy presents the lessons we all can learn from Wile E Coyote. Though Mark is not a fan of the show Family Guy, I am.

Here is Mark’s Post:

Mark Remy

First, an admission: I am not really a fan of Family Guy. (More of a Simpsons man.)

That said: This picture, a screen grab from a DVD by Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane — available for purchase now! — is really pretty funny. (Credit where it’s due: I stumbled across this pic on a blog called Popped Culture.)


It’s more than just funny, though. It’s also pretty apt, from a running point of view. Why? Because the message, while humorous, is dead-on accurate:

Chasing a goal is great… assuming you have another one on deck.

It’s certainly true of racing, I think. Especially for marathoning. You invest so much time and energy,  overcome so many obstacles and endure so much pain, for so long, all while chasing this Roadrunner goal. You’re practically obsessed.

Finally, one day, you “catch” your prey. You run the race.

Then what?

Ideally, you’ll have another goal, whether it’s a different race or training for a PR or, heck, even a home improvement project. As long as it’s something you can focus on, somewhere to channel your energy.

Otherwise, you just might wind up like our friend Wile E. Coyote here: depressed, aimless, out of shape, slumped in a chair staring at your trophy.

And not even Acme Rocket-Powered Roller Skates can pull you out of a slump like that.


6 thoughts on “Being a Teacher and Runner is Much Like Being Wile E. Coyote

  1. Great post! When we have a particular knowledge base but are surrounded by students who lack such content, we must seek an injection of knowledge from those who know as much as we do if not even more. Though I teach bright students on my college campus, many know less than they realize. This us where colleagues are needed. Love Mark’s comparison.

  2. It has been nice to see the exercise/healthy eating movement catching on in America in recent years. Exercise makes for happier people, and happier people make for a more peaceful world. I am not saying that we can prevent wars by forcing people to jog, but, clinical studies have proven that regular exercise helps with depression, anxiety, etc.

    Carson, I know of some trails that are both road and mountain bike friendly. Let me know if you want to pull out that Bianchi and do some riding this summer.

  3. I love this! My marathon training group (ironically the West Coast Road Runners!) has seminars after each long run on Saturday. Since we are nearing the end of training and coming up on our big race (Rock n Roll Marathon San Diego 5.31.09 woohoo)the recent seminars have been tips for getting through the marathon. One of the tips a trainer gave us a few weeks ago was to start planning our next race. At first I was confused…being that this is my first marathon, and I have only been running for about a year and a half, I am looking forward to just finishing THIS race: my lofty goal is to finish under my own upright, under my own power and before they close the course:) But I have begun to understand, the 20+ weeks of training will soon be over and the end of the race might be a let down without another event to look forward to. So, I have committed to running the AFC half marathon in August, hopefully with my friend Eddie…well not WITH, since I run 11 minute miles and he flies by at 7:15s:) I think while I train for that I reall yneed to satisfy my curiosity about traithlons too…as soon as I graduate from business school that is:)

    See you in August Eddie!!

  4. That Eddie guy sounds pretty impressive. He must be a stud and a great friend of yours. I did not know you were in a running club. If I cannot get my time down, I will join one too. I hope your friend come out and runs with you. I am sure you can run with him. I agree with planning a marathon before you finish the one you are getting ready for. It keeps you motivated and allows you to avoid post-marathon depression. I bet your friend is great looking and smart. Right?

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