About a year and a half ago, I started taking any interested students out for a run early on Tuesday mornings. While we miss a week here and there because of weather or schedule conflicts, we generally leave at 6 or 6:30 and run for about 3 miles. I know that 3 miles a week isn't going to change anyone's life, but the idea is that an added awareness of physical wellbeing will infiltrate daily life.
And, I really enjoy getting to know my students apart from the lesson atmosphere. I try not to muddy the teacher/student relationship too much, but barring inappropriateness, I think it's actually good for my students to know me as a whole person, not just as their flute teacher. Of course, it's also good for me to know my students more completely. I enjoy the talks we have while running, and I hope they feel the same way.
So, here we go... The semester starts tomorrow, so this Tuesday morning, we'll meet in the parking lot behind the music building at 6:30AM. I'm looking forward to it.
The following is the email I sent when I first initiated the runs in the fall of 2011.
Dear Music Majors and Faculty:
I was walking back from working at a coffee shop yesterday, enjoying the slightly cooler weather and knowing that my leisurely walking pace was one of luxury that would be hard to remember after next week.
As I was walking, I remembered something from my year at North Carolina School of the Arts. By the time he was teaching me, my flute teacher there was in his mid-sixties and was ready to retire. But, he told me that back in his prime, he used to run a lot. He would run from dorm to dorm, picking his students up and heading out for a few miles; those early morning runs were mandatory for his flute students. When he told me that, I remember feeling slightly envious of his past students that had gotten a more diligent, harder version of the teacher I had.
So, on my walk home, I smiled at the memory I hadn't recalled in a decade or so. And then, I had an idea.
This semester, I'll be staying over in Kutztown on Monday nights. This will enable me to attend more Monday night concerts, and it'll cut down on my commute time a bit. So, since I'll be around early on Tuesday, I thought it would be a good idea to try leading a running group on Tuesday mornings.
I'm not going to obligate anyone to join me (I doubt I'd even be allowed to try), and I'm certainly not going to run from dorm to dorm (house to house) forcing people out of bed. If no one wants to come, the worst that happens is that I go out for a run by myself.
But, if you're interested, starting September 13, I'll be outside of OM31 on Tuesday mornings; we'll leave at 6:45AM sharp and run for 30-45 minutes. Come for as little or as much as you want, and run as quickly or slowly as you want. I'm not that fast myself. We'll be finished by 7:30, which should be plenty of time to shower and eat before your day starts.
I just thought it would be a nice way to establish a bit of camaraderie, and of course, a little exercise is always a good idea.
Regardless of whether you're interested in joining me or you think I'm totally crazy, I hope you had a great summer and I'm looking to seeing you all soon.