We had a jog-a-thon at our elementary school on Friday. I work with kindergarteners so that was the group I went outside with.
The kinder kids find sponsors, and on the designated day they bring back their sheets and run laps around the field. As they pass the tent, volunteers put a hash mark on their tag that is affixed to their back to keep track of how many laps they had run. My job was to stand at the corner cone and make sure no one cut corners across the field. You'd be surprised how many want to do that, lol.
After the first lap all the kids were huffing. Honestly, kids today don't go play outside and run around the neighborhood, running and biking in between all the houses, playing in the brook, and picking at the dump, like we used to 40 years ago. In my day, we'd leave in the morning, our mothers shouting "be home by dark!", and off we would go, on bikes or feet. Nowadays, for obvious reasons, kids are confined to their yards and frankly most of them just stay inside and play video games.
So they were huffing for sure. But after the second lap they all were getting into the competitive aspect, competing with themselves to see how many laps they could do. They'd proudly shout "I did 5!" or "I'm on 7!"
Some kids who I only see all day sitting at a little table and doing alphabet papers in class, really shone with their running. One girl was so thrilled. She shouted as she passed by, "I love running! It's my favorite thing! But I love climbing the tree too!" The tree, lol.
Many of the girls ran hand-in-hand, and that was the sweetest thing! One gal likes to wear wedding type dresses and Easter to dresses to school. She has long flowing black hair and black round eyes. She and another girl were running hand in hand, the girl's hair looking like a model's in the wind machine blowing all around her because she was going so fast, her little satin sash on her flowered dress wafting out behind, her hands clasped tightly together with her friend's and both were smiling. How sweet!!
Of course there were pairs of boys competing with each other, running full blast with tongues hanging out, feet pounding the grass as they rounded the cone, looking back to see where the other boy was. Is he gaining? Am I ahead? Boys!
If I closed my eyes, and just listened and felt the air, I enjoyed the soft spring air on my skin, the birds overhead, and the sound of children running and laughing in the sun. Not a bad way to end a workweek.