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

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This is a piece that I have posted previously; it is one of my favorite posts. Below is a great article 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 fill; if I am not busy thinking about my classes and what I hope to discuss, then I am thinking about what I would like to write about for a conference. Of course, it always relates to  something I hope to inculcate into my classes. Thinking, reading, and writing are essential to the craft of teaching. As I have stated before, I do not prepare “lesson plans” as I get ready for each class meeting. What I do is read.

Thus, this hole in me is pretty deep. At times, not even my passion for teaching can fill it. Teaching can be lonely. Many of us seek additional things to drive our teaching. I once told my headmaster that if I did not stay busy and active doing much academic stuff, I would burnout. This is the opposite for many. I need to stay busy with multiple tasks. I am not saying that 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 running this past year as I seek to be a sub-elite runner. Now that I am getting solid coaching advice, and have increased my weekly miles to 100, I feel prime to make a breakthrough. 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.

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.

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

  1. I can’t imagine running all those miles. Wow. I have read your training blog, it is inspiring. I am sure in order to get in your miles and prepping for school, you have had to sacrifice a lot! I hope you at least got to watch V. Good luck on your training. I hope you are able to reach your goals.

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