Teaching and Learning

A few weeks ago, we ran the Greenhill Mile. For those of you unfamiliar with this, the Greenhill Mile is the worst thing in the world. It's a mile pretty much straight uphill. But that's not all. You don't just run (walk) up the hill - you stop every 400 meters and do squats. Then you keep going. But this post isn't about the Greenhill Mile. After the workout, we had to get back down the hill, and it was suggested that we jog. Fine. I'm jogging along, talking away and Jeremy runs up behind me. I'm running all wrong. Don't swing your arms in front of you, pretend that somethings pulling your elbows back. Relax. Kick your feet up. OK That all actually made sense. And the next day when I ran the Truffle Shuffle, I thought about those things and I totally beat my goal. I learned something!
By the way, I just (within the last hour) finally beat my 5K goal of coming in under 30 minutes. I got in at 29:00 flat. That's 1:39 better than last time. I knew I was beating my last time because I listened to the same playlist, and when that playlist ended just after 28 minutes, I bolted. So happy. And I thought about my arms. I actually pretended I was cross-country skiing. I've done that before. I tried to relax, but that's fairly difficult these days.
Last week we did the Crossfit Total - back squat, shoulder press, and deadlift. You get three chances to get your max weight, and then you take your top weight from each, add them together, and there's your total. The back squat was great. Josh actually encouraged me to do 20 pounds more than I thought I would. Shoulder press - eh. It's not my shining moment. So I set up for the deadlift and I start at 175 lbs., 20 lbs less than my max. I did it, but it didn't look great. A great guy at the gym stopped me and we started practicing. Lift your hips and your shoulders at the same time. Don't go around your knees. Knees back! Maybe my heart wasn't in it. Maybe I wasn't in the mood for learning, but once I stepped back to the bar, I couldn't lift it. I was completely blocked. I was trying to remember all that he had told me. He asked me if he was tired, and I said, 'Mentally, yes.' I stepped away for a while, came back, and lifted the 175 again. I just couldn't get it together that night. I realized that I am probably a frustrating student some nights. Weights don't come naturally for me and I want to get it right. But sometimes, especially when my mind is going 100mph out of the gym, I just can't handle it.
The next night I went up to LBCC, where I teach a writing class. I realized coming home from that class how circumstances play such a big part in how you learn. I have a great class. They're so fun. But 2/3 of them are guys and it's a 3 hour class on a Thursday night. I know that only so much can get through to them. Just like some people can never learn where to place a comma, I may have a hard time knowing where to line up my hips and my shoulders when lifting a heavy weight. Or maybe it just depends on the night. Or maybe I should keep pretending that I'm skiing.

1 comment:

kelly ross said...

ahhh I love your blog. Have you ever heard that expression... "sometimes you're the pigeon, sometimes you're the statue"? That's how Crossfit is for me from day to day. Some days, it all clicks and it's amazing and I leave feeling so good. Other days, umm yeah. Not so much. ;) You're awesome!