Well, it happened. The thing I was most afraid of. My beloved Frisbee Football received the axe yesterday afternoon, and is now no more.
After being voted "Most Fun Class at Summer School" yesterday morning by a class that was putting together a school newspaper, I received a friendly email from my principal in the afternoon asking me to put an end to Frisbee Football.
My principal explained that tackle football is a broken bone waiting to happen, and that I couldn't let them tackle anymore.
I understand that. I kinda knew that I was taking a big risk by letting them tackle - even if it was a lot less than what would occur in a regular game of football. I can only speculate that word got out about the game and the principal heard about it and became. I honestly don't think anyone complained or asked for the game to be stopped. The kids were enjoying it too much for that. I respect and honor my principal's concerns... she's right. There was definitely a degree of danger I was gambling with.
It was hard breaking it to my students. I mourned the loss with them. By letting one class know, word spread like wildfire and I was greeted by many concerned students in the hallways. The nice thing was, the students were more concerned that I had gotten in to some kind of trouble. Once they heard that no one was getting in to any trouble, we just had to come up with something else to do - the concern switched to how they would cope without their beloved game.
I have to admit, I was pretty heartbroken about it. I had managed to get in one more great game before we received the email. Two boys managed to pick me up and roll me to the ground like I was nothing more than a feather. Of course, my two 8th grade bodyguards didn't take too kindly to it, and got my revenge for me. I even managed to score a couple of touchdowns for my team... which was pretty awesome.
The last class of the day I took out for an extra recess, so I could wallow in self pity while they all did what they wanted to do. I was given the opportunity to ask some of my boys if they wanted to come out with me - even though they weren't even in my class. Despite receiving the bad news, they still came out with me. They spent the time reassuring me that we'd think of something else. I had really thought that my popularity had only centered around the game that I had allowed them to play. Apparently, I was wrong. That gave me the boost I needed to devote myself to finding something else that would be just as fun for these kids.
By the end of the day, the cafeteria (where the kids congregate waiting for their buses) was buzzing with the devastating news. It really did feel like someone had died. I was met with hugs and words of support from my students that I'd come up with something else for them to do - and no matter what, they'd still love being in my class. They were sure that no matter what we did together, it would be fun.
Then, one of my die hard football fans came up to me and said "What about kickball?" I thought about it for a second, asked a few nearby students what they thought... and got the nods and shrugs of approval.
So, it appears, next week's sport will be kickball. Probably not as near as rough on my body, but should still give me enough of a work-out to feel accomplished.
It was a solemn drive home for me yesterday afternoon. I was sad for my students, but I was also really sad for myself. I had worked so hard all week putting in all of my energy every single day. I had finally found a game I really enjoyed playing. And, to hear that it would be no more was very sad and a little scary. I needed that game just as much as my students did. I felt so accomplished and strong after spending all afternoon running and jumping and throwing and being wrestled to the ground. My body screamed in agony and victory each and every day.
Even that last game that I played yesterday was enough for me to hobble out of bed this morning with that sweet feeling of soreness. I had originally planned on getting up and attempting some jogging, but I needed a bit of a rest. However, tomorrow morning, I'm getting up before it gets too hot and I'm going to go for a much needed meditative walk/jog. Even if it's just to clear my mind and prepare for doing what I need to do to pump up my kids (and myself) Monday when they all come to my class expecting to have just as much fun as they had all this week.
What I am realizing, though, is that regardless how short lived my game was... it did have one very important special outcome. It made me fall back in love with being active. It made me relive the days when I yearned for exercise that I enjoyed. It made me resurrect that active person inside that's being lying dormant for so long. I got a taste of how thrilling it was to put in a really hard work-out.. how every muscle in my body can scream for mercy while still screaming for more.
Even more so now knowing that I won't get to play that game again. The lazy me would be relieved that I didn't have to do it anymore. Which is why I know that the lazy me is dying. The active me is mourning and sad...and determined to find something else to fill the void.
My students have all thanked me over and over for being "so cool". Yet, I'm the one that should be thanking them. They have infused me with the long lost desire and motivation I used to have to be more fit, active, and healthy. It's all rushing back to me...and I just won't and can't let it go again. They are my heroes. They have no idea the affect they are having on me...and in a few months, when I'm rocking my active, more fit body...they will be able to take a lot of the credit.
But, until then, here's hoping that I can love kickball almost as much as frisbee football.
Till next time...
a/k/a Mad, Fat Woman