This morning I did a cycle ride with “Rick.”
I was a Cycling/Spin enthusiast before Running stole my heart and time. I recently got reacquainted with it for cross training purposes. But today was my first class with “Rick” as he’d been out sick with this flu thing that’s ravaging 41 of the 50 states.
Today Rick took us to France where we came close to the summit of Mount Ventoux, but had to stop 50 meters from it due to rain and sleet. We tried it again, reached it, and sweaty but victorious, descended. Then we had hot cocoa at The Tavern restaurant where the lot was filled with the Porsches and Ferraris that had passed us along the way making us nearly poop our pants at the fear that we would be pushed over the mountain we climbed.
Rick promises that next week we will go somewhere equally exciting, not the valleys of Provence though, where the scenery rivals what one would imagine of the heavens. It’s gonna be some place that will make us wobble as we dismount, stretch, and try to walk up 3 flights of steps to our office gracefully despite our jelly legs.
As a teacher, I am keenly aware of what strikes me when I’m being instructed; what information stays with me and why; what makes me come back despite wobbly legs or uncertainty in my ability to “get” whatever information I’m there to get. Gratefully, I can say that the teachers I’ve had in recent years have been the kind I want to emulate. Each strike me and I realize later when I’m not even trying the information out, that I’m using it in practice. That I “get” it.
Sister Faye and Mama Kibbibi, my African dance teachers who know I’m stiff (I’d rather call it poised) and follow a rhythm that is typically not the one being played, have never made me feel as awkward as I’ve felt. I’m not sure how they do that, but I wanna be able to do it. I wanna do “the Rick” that makes me forget the chafe that threatens my lady bits (ugh) as I move through a place I’ve never been nor desired to go. To make me want to go there.
My teachers have been many and often not in the formal settings I just described. I couldn’t leave out my running friends cum coaches: CD, Jan, Mr. Sauls, and a lady named Janis who just happened to join me on a run while visiting her daughter in the city. Sure I count them personally as my friends, but professionally–and of them only Mr. Sauls teaches–they give me the lessons and guidance I doubt any classroom instruction or praticum could.
I am a teacher in the practical sense–I teach therefore I am a teacher. But there is more to it than that. Just look at “bad” teachers you remember. I don’t wanna be counted in that number! So I’ll just keep being a student of the good ones.