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Monday, August 16, 2010

Moving Day

If you haven't already, you can read my 20 mile recap here at Higher Miles. And we eagerly await Abbi's 20 mile recap coming up soon!

Yesterday my little brother Abe moved in to his college dorm down the street. He's literally in walking distance and I'm excited to have him close by. I know I shouldn't play favorites, and I don't really, but Abe is one of my closer brothers. When we were younger and there were a million* little kiddies running around, each of the older kids had a younger sibling "assigned" as a permanent babysitting charge. We'd make sure they were fed, bathed, behaved. Abe was my charge, so we used to hang out a lot. It's funny how core personality traits simply don't change with time. Abe as a 19 year old still has the same mannerisms as Abe the 2 year old.
We welcomed him to New Orleans yesterday with a quick tour of the Uptown area, followed by a forced grocery trip. Abe is in the dorm early because he's on the cross country team, so the cafeterias aren't really open yet. I made him get some canned beans and tortillas to make my personal favorite college meal, bean burritos. Fast, easy, cheap, filling.
This morning I met Abe for a run in Audubon park in which he handed me my butt on a platter. His normal pace FOR LONG RUNS is 5 minutes. He was trying to stay at my pace, but it was too hard for him to hold back, and we ended up running 7 min miles for about 3.5 miles. The child never opened his lips. I mean, this did not elicit any heavy breathing whatsoever. I, meanwhile, was ready to keel over. Then when we were finished he said I could improve my speed if I did "one or two runs like that a day". Whatever, I can barely finish my speed work once a week. I guess that's why he's fast and I'm slow.
I realized I missed the boat in school by not being very athletic. Abe and I were talking and apparently the cross country team supplies their shoes. This is good for Abe because he runs over 100 miles a week and replaces his shoes every 5 weeks (That stat floored me and gave me nightmares about spending over $1000 a year on shoes). You know what being on the debate team got you? Nerd status, that's all. They didn't even supply us with legal pads.
So now a little discussion on homeschooling and athletics. All of us grubby kids were homeschooled, mostly because we moved a lot and changing schools all the time can't be fun. But my dad was concerned that we wouldn't have proper athletic opportunities. Abe is an example of why that would not be true; he's not only really fast and winning lots of local races, but he's on an athletic scholarship and will be running college track and cross country. However, I can certainly see my dad's point if one of us excelled at, say, basketball. You can show an athletic director race times, but it's pretty hard to get a recruiter to come watch a backyard pickup ball game.
What's your take? Can homeschoolers get equal athletic opportunities? Or should we just stick to what we do best, like spelling bees and math problems that involve symbols I've never seen before?
*Nine, actually.


  1. I wouldn't have lasted 5 minutes. Plus I'm the type personality I would have just gotten ticked off and quit. I have to run at my own pace or I hate life and become ridiculously grumpy!! I'm super impressed by how you did!!!
    I think that homeschooling, when you have the right parents, and the right social outlets can be a wonderful thing. I think it's extremely important to connect with local homeschooler groups in order to socialize and then do other things to socialize. As for sports I know here in Charlotte we have lots of opportunities for team sports where they can be even more competitive then in schools!

  2. I think there is opportunity for homeschoolers to have athletic opportunities, depending on what your activity is. If your activity is gymnastics, dance, cheerleading, etc. there are classes and all-star opportunities that can lead to college scholarships and the like. With baseball, football, and soccer (possibly basketball although I am less familiar with it) there is little league, all-stars, club leagues and what-not. If you homeschool in a smaller town where these things are not as readily avaliable schools will sometimes make an exception and let homeschoolers play on their sports teams. I think the opportunities are out there, they just take a little more work to seek out.

  3. One or two A DAY? Yeesh! he would have gottne a 'big sister eye roll' from me. ;)

    Home schooling was so uncommon where I grew up, I don't think that they few kids that did it had as much access to things like sports and other activities... now that I live in a bigger city, I think the chances of equal opportunities are better, but i don't think it's ever an apples to apples comparison for home school v. kids who attend a school...

  4. i knew tons of kids who were home schooled. i believe it really comes down to the parents. i've seen many who make sure their kids were in programs promoting fitness and yet others who did little to nothing in that department.

  5. So I just came out as a secret reader of the Higher Miles blog. I mention that only to say that that is how I found yours. Now two more important points:

    1) Holy crap that's a lot of kids! (Says the only child over here)

    2) I'm pretty floored by YOUR speed! I'd have to throw myself a party if I pulled out a 3.5 mile run at a 7 min/mile pace!

  6. Dang, your bro is FAST! It is true that speed work helps (and hills bc they engage the same muscles you engage when sprinting). I keep telling myself I need to add in hills and official tempo runs in each week...not just accidental tempo or hilly moments.