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Determination and the ability to stand your ground are wonderful characteristics to have.  However, they are only helpful if you use them in the correct situations.  All too often we get so caught up in the need to win.  “It’s my way or the highway.”  At some point, though, you are so focused on winning that your forget what you are fighting for. 

I run a small running program at my kid’s school.  There are a few other Moms that help out.  Some are seasoned runners. Some not.  One just dropped over 50 pounds and loves to run now.  Excellent in my book.  We will be training for a 5k with kids ages kindergarten – fifth grade.  The kids running have a wide variety of skills.  Perfect match for our Mom coaches!  The goal is to get the kids off the couch and get active.  Even if they hate running.  This might motivate them to do something else.  But I like to run so that’s what we do :P.  

The race we are training for is very popular in our area.  Lots of first time runners take to the streets to complete their greatest distance yet.  The atmosphere is amazing and for kids it’s even better.  The adrenaline is at its max as the race director shouts out the final race announcements.  They are excited to take off like a bat out of hell and run their fastest time yet.  I love it.  I love every part of it.  The motivation that comes from this is so great.  I love seeing anyone accomplish their goals but watching young kids find something that they love and work so hard to accomplish something sets them apart from the older crowd for me.  

As a coach I find it important to be there for the kids every step of the way.  I have 20 kids in a sea of 5000.  It’s impossible to run next to all of them at the same time.  We have 4 coaches total.  We’ve already decided that we’ll be a safe distance away and we’ll be able to sort of keep an eye on everyone…  for the most part.  

I’m not a fast runner.  I think I’m average.  My fastest 5k time was 23 min I think.  I predicted the fastest time for the kids would be about 27 or so.  The slowest, probably around 40 min.  All four of us coaches should stick with the kids in the middle and push them at the end.  Provide some motivation along the way.

I ran with the fastest kids up until the last .2 miles.  Only because once you reach the finish tunnel you can’t turn back.  I turned around and ran back to run with the next few kids in our group and get them fired up for the finish.  Again, hit the tunnel, turned around.  I did this until I found one of our other coaches and then finished with one of the boys who was really struggling to finish.  He wanted to walk.  I wouldn’t allow it.  We always finish on a run.  Always.  I chased him through the finish tunnel and we finished with a time of 30 minutes.  His goal was 30 minutes and he made it!  

I waited at the finish line, expecting to see the other coaches doing the same….  pushing another youngster through the finishing tunnel.  Nope.  I saw “new runner” coach running alone.  None of our kids anywhere in sight.  She finished in a great time for her.  She was so proud of herself.   I was so disappointed.  A few minutes later came a group of our kids, barely running (they knew I would be watching) through the tunnel.  No coach around.  She left them.  She left them because she wanted to run a good time for herself.  The kids didn’t seem to care one way or the other that they were on their own.  They were happy to be done.  They finished on a run.  They did what they were told.  Eventually the rest of the kids funneled through and the other coaches ran with them, providing encouragement along the way.

Our school has a parent organization.  This organization puts on a huge fundraiser in the spring.  The lady that puts it on isn’t very popular among the “common Mom” scene.  She’s not from the area and their family is well off.  Pretty much the opposite of the common Mom’s.  Regardless she supports the school just as much as the rest of us and throws one hell of a party for a fundraiser!!  She has connections no one else in our area would be able to have and uses that to benefit the school.  She knows how to squeeze the pennies out of the pockets.  She’s good at it and loves to do it.  Perfect combination.

The fundraiser is at a local bar.  Not in a bar but outside of it.  The people that own the place of a large lot and “rent” it to the school to use for the fundraiser for next to nothing.  There is alcohol served but we don’t make any money from it.  It’s way off in the corner of this lot and away from all kid activities.  

One of the common Mom’s decided to complain about the venue saying we should not have it at a bar.  We are sending the wrong messages to children.  OK, fine, point taken.  BUT the reason the fundraiser is so successful is because of it’s location and the amenities we have available to us is not something we could get anywhere else.  This mom helped us last year with one of our money makers.  She did a great job.  This year, unless fundraiser lady moves this away from the bar, she’s not helping.  In fact she’s refusing to talk to some people.  It’s been made clear the venue will not change.  Common Mom now refuses to have anything to do with it.  She knows she did an important job and if we want her to help again we need to give in to her demands.  (I don’t think so!)  She has become so bitter about this decision recently that she’s now fusing to help with the organization itself.  She’s so adamant about getting her way that I’m willing to bet she can’t remember what pissed her off in the first place.  

Why don’t people see the bigger picture?  Why can’t we agree to disagree and continue on?  When did it become okay to abandon your running kids because you wanted to have a good time for yourself?  When did it became acceptable to throw yourself a pitty party and refuse to be a team player?  

It’s makes me sad to think that people are so greedy and in it for themselves.  The kids, people.  The. kids.  I don’t wake up every morning trying to find away around the kids so I can better myself.  But these ladies do.  And it bothers me!