5 Things I Learned from Our Students…

5 Things I Learned from Our Students…

…During a Rainy Broad Street Run

Over the past year, both the participants of Students Run Philly Style and the organization itself taught me so much about perseverance, the power of community, and what’s important in life.

Yesterday, I ran the 10 mile Broad Street Run for my fifth time. But this Broad Street Run was different than any other. It was cold and it rained…before, during, and after the race. These aren’t ideal conditions for any race, but more than anything, I was worried about our students having to run 10 miles in the cold rain. Turns out, they were more prepared than 95% of runners on the course and they had awesome attitudes all day long. Our students’ positive attitudes and behaviors continually help me reflect on myself and my own actions. Yesterday’s race was an example of that.
Here are five things that my students taught me during a rainy Broad Street Run:

1. Come prepared. They wore long sleeves and pants, they ate a carb-loaded breakfast, they wore hats, and they brought PONCHOS (and even had extras for their friends). Each and every one of them dressed in the perfect attire for a rainy race. It was cold and raining, but they were ready. Meanwhile, I’m still asking myself why I didn’t bring a poncho…?

2. Have fun. While other runners were grumpy about the weather, our students were playing, laughing, joking, smiling, and having fun - all in the rain. It didn’t bother them one bit. A few ladies in the bathroom line even commended the students for being so upbeat and cheery. Maybe that’s because our students were hanging out with their friends on a Sunday morning. But if that’s the case, then we can still learn something from them - run with your friends and you’ll have 10x more fun than going it alone. Which leads me to the next point…

(Before we started)

3. Value teamwork. While we recommend that students run their own pace, they all had running buddies yesterday. They encouraged each other to keep up when their friends were struggling and were more than willing to share with each other (i.e. poncho sharing and my favorite - splitting up pairs of gloves so each person could have one glove). They take care of each other as a community.

4. Be friendly. Our students are always polite to strangers, but during the race I saw them take it to a new level. They high-fived the spectators that were cheering them on, they thanked volunteers, they talked to other runners around them, and they shook hands with police officers and military personnel. My roommate, Mel, even commented about how friendly and polite our students were when she met them before the race.

(Shoutout to Temple for being the most lively part of the course. You rock, as always! ;)

5. Stay committed. They showed up. I had many friends who decided not to run after seeing the rainy forecast. Our students showed up, despite the weather, and treated it like any other race. That in itself is a HUGE accomplishment. If I were in that situation at their age, I would’ve cried to my parents until they let me off the hook. Not these students. They made a commitment and they stuck to it. If they’re already doing that in middle school, they will be dedicated leaders as they get older as well.

So there you have it. This weekend was great! I helped out at the Students Run table at the expo on Saturday, saw friends that I haven't seen for years, ran into other friends during the race (shoutout to my Temple girls - Jen, Erin, Becky, Monica - for doing a cheer for my student!!), got to run 10 miles with some of my favorite teens, and had a yummy post race meal of pizza and apple kale salad with Mel.

(Mel ran her first Broad Street and kicked butt! We watch The Big Short during our post race dinner and it was such a great movie. Highly recommended if you like history and business/Wall Street movies!)

Regardless of the rain, Broad Street did not disappoint and I can’t wait to run again next year! :)

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Did you do the Broad Street Run yesterday? If so, how did you do?

Ever have to do a race in the rain? How did you prepare?

Do anything fun this weekend?

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