It's saying I may fail but win or lose I will be better for having tried.

  • Thursday, December 10, 2015
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And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost.

Last week as I entered the school gates I became aware of a presence on my shoulder and turning to my right I saw Guy our PE teacher ghosting along on his bicycle. Guy is a man driven by passion and a hugely infectious enthusiasm for life and education, his brain never stops, endlessly delivering ideas and exploring concepts and his mouth follows, he loves to talk and share and he will talk and share with whoever crosses his path. He is pretty much a Tasmanian Devil on speed. It so happened that it was a beautiful morning, bright, clear and mild and I had relished my walk in to work. As it turned out, Guy had decided on an ad hoc route to work that had taken him through the woods for the first time - and it unleashed a torrent of words as he attempted to describe what he had felt, thought and experienced. We share an identical and maverick educational philosophy that believes that children and young people learn and grow when they are allowed to play and think for themselves rather than be confined to a rigid curriculum and tested to death. Guy was excited that he had chosen to go off piste and he had new discoveries and feelings. He was stimulated by risk and adventure and happy it had affirmed his educational beliefs. He was motivated to try it again.
This of course is the attraction and joy of trail running for me, the chance to take the unmarked and untrodden path and throw out the plan. It's the gift of choice. I can think of umpteen times Jerry and I have come across a wild bit of trail or wondered where a path leads and decided to follow it to find out. We've had some epic runs and discoveries and it's enhanced our running elevating it to something magical and full of value.
Thankfully my path has crossed Guy's a lot over the last few days and we've had other discussions, war and politics (I happened to be listening to The Black Eyed Peas Duncan, Where is the Love and I wondered, where is the love?) to how to change the world and the impact of greeting and smiling at strangers. We've discussed the idea of risk leading to gain (several times) and how F is the new A*.
Yesterday Guy encountered me by the fish tank in the foyer and started quoting Robert Frost's poem The Road Less Taken and what we could learn from it. Running in to work this morning I began to mull over the concept behind the poem, being short on fitness I was beginning to tire and I realised that I could choose to take a path that would cut short my run. It was then that I had the revelation that to continue and run the full distance was a form of taking the road less travelled and that the temptation to take the short cut was the easy way out. I realised that I would learn more by stretching myself a bit and getting into a place of discomfort, that when we pay the price we benefit more. This then is the road less taken, a road of risk, discomfort but ultimate reward. It's saying I may fail but win or lose I will be better for having tried. It's making a choice.

 Yo', whatever happened to the values of humanity
Whatever happened to the fairness and equality
Instead of spreading love we're spreading animosity
Lack of understanding, leading us away from unity

That's the reason why sometimes I'm feelin' under
That's the reason why sometimes I'm feelin' down
There's no wonder why sometimes I'm feelin' under
Gotta keep my faith alive 'til love is found
Now ask yourself

Where is the love?
Where is the love?
Where is the love?
Where is the love?

Father, Father, Father, help us
Send some guidance from above
'Cause people got me, got me questionin'
Where is the love?Yo', whatever happened to the values of humanity
Whatever happened to the fairness and equality
Instead of spreading love we're spreading animosity
Lack of understanding, leading us away from unity

That's the reason why sometimes I'm feelin' under
That's the reason why sometimes I'm feelin' down
There's no wonder why sometimes I'm feelin' under
Gotta keep my faith alive 'til love is found
Now ask yourself

Where is the love?
(Black Eyed Peas)

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