Saturday, 24 April 2010

Being a teacher (and a pupil)

I love my job. I often meet people who think I joke when I say this, more so in Greece than in other places, but hand on heart, I really do love my job. Yes, it's tough. Anyone who has spend more than an hour with 7 year olds knows that it's not a walk in the park. They are demanding and require massive amounts of energy, attention and love. It can be draining, sometimes at the end of the day my feet are killing me and my head is buzzing, but it is also uplifting and very very rewarding.

I have always considered myself lucky to be doing what I do and my job has really pulled me through this difficult time in my life. Kids can be selfish, they don't care what kind of day you are having. In a nutshell: the show must go on! Yet, still, they care and they too, give back to you in so many ways.

I feel happy to know that I am changing lives, the lives of young people who are the adults of tomorrow. But I feel even happier and privileged when I think about how they change me! Every class I have taught has always taught me something - almost every kid I have spent time with day in, day out for a year has given me an insight into the world. The girl who never gives up. The little boy who copes with the crippling reality of having a dozen allergies without so much as one complaint. The child who comes to school speaking hardly any English, yet makes friends and moves on.

Children are so resilient and they are a lesson to me, everyday. They are resilient because their life-force is so strong. Life is resilient. Resilient, yet flexible, bending along with the wind, yet standing up at the end of every day.

Today we had a 'clinic' for beginning triathletes, introducing them to this wonderful sport of ours and giving them tips for their first race. I look and find inspiration everywhere, and as with my other class, in this one too. I was surprised and in awe of people's ability to 'give it a go', to try something new, to leave their comfort zone. To try and swim 750 meters in cold water, to keep running when their legs screamed. I hope we gave them some help and tips for their first race, but, let it be known, I got a lot more back - lessons for life and sport, as well as the mixture of fear and excitement of getting ready for your first race.

... and practice
On the back of all these thoughts I have had a very good week of training, that has left me hungry and tired every single night this week. On course for a solid 12.5 hours, as well as 40+ hours of work and 7 hours of training camp for with (thank you Stelio and Christina!).

Good luck to Robbie, Spyro and Laura who are racing IMSA. Enjoy the race, guys!

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