Sunday, August 26, 2007


I have been a runner all my life. I ran cross country and track in high school and college and continue to run road races. I love running and all of the feelings that come with it. The freedom to let your mind wonder. The flying sensation of running faster than you thought your legs could go. The energy you gain from a quick jaunt around the park. Running can put you back in control of life, calm you down, ground you and energize you all at once.

So maybe I understand why I have two children who choose to sprint from the classroom occasionally. If I was in kindergarten and had a communication disorder, I'd probably find it freeing to take control of the situation and go sprinting for the door. If I had an emotional disorder I would probably relish the control I found from running. It would allow me to deal with my emotions while removing me from the crazy class that's really annoying me anyway. Not having the language to say, "Hey, you know, I don't like to read because it makes me feel stupid. This morning has been rough and I ALREADY feel kind of dumb so I'd prefer to take a pass today", running is just another method to cope with all that.

I can understand it, but I'm ready for it to stop.

Running cross country for 8 years left me with arthritis in one ankle at an early age. I can still run, but shouldn't go as far as frequently as I use to in college. Which means the occasional sprinting from the classroom after a kiddo isn't really good for my ankle. (Not to mention trying not to twist it while skipping over blocks and toys on the floor).

I've also had to start keeping another shirt at school in case of extended runs in the late August heat. I've given up wearing any shoes other than my running shoes, not wanting to risk sprinting in a pair of heels.

I've written social stories on how everyone has to walk in school. We read them over and over again. Some times I think they are working. Then suddenly, right when I least expect it, bam. We're out the door, into the hallway and up the stairs before I can leap over the small kindergarten tables (as well as small kindergartners) to catch up.

We have got to find other coping mechanisms.


Suzanne G. said...

I have known children like this. Chronic runners can be such a danger to themselves, especially in a city. I feel for you.

All I can suggest is strenuous "break" times where the kids exercise to regroup their brains and bodies.

Good luck. I miss opening a classroom this year.

Anonymous said...

sounds fun. by fun I mean not at all. obviously. so yeah... good luck with that.

Blink said...

I can relate to those students although maybe in a more appropriate way. I ran (no kidding) between classes in middle and high school. It is a mystery why...I was a senior before I realized it. Thank God (and I mean that in a good way) my parents were progressive enough to put me in sports at an early age. High school days were pre Title IX so you see the significance. I hope your families see the value of redirecting the movement:)