Copyright © Louis Schmier and Atwood Publishing.
Date: Sun, 29 Sep 1996 07:15:40 -0400 (EDT)
It's early. The humidity is up, but the sun isn't. I've just come in from a soothing, invigorating five mile power walk. It didn't start that way. It was a war. I fought it at the beginning with a quick series of starts and stops. At each skirmish, I offered up an "I ache too much", an "I don't want to", an "I can't this morning", or an "I ain't got it today." But, I did have it, and I did do it, in spite of myself.
So, I'm sitting here, like the Little Train That Could, in my sweat-soaked grubbies, my body quickly becoming as sticky as a licked Tootsie Pop, being massaged by the car coffee, feeling a bit more satisfied than normal--maybe even a touch amazed--because I didn't take a "no" from myself, struggled to find that inner "yes", tapped its power, and had an unexpected cleansing and fulfilling walk
As the agony turned in ecstasy with each step, I remembered something I had said to an e-mail colleague not too long ago. As reluctant, I think I can's, transformed into willing, I know I can's, with each step, I slowly realized that I had ultimately said to myself on the streets what I tell the students on campus each day with words, facial expressions, body language, vocal tones, classroom techniques and methods: "I will always believe in you. I will always believe in your capacity to succeed. I will always believe that you belong here. I will always believe that you have a talent, an ability, a unique potential. I will always support you, encourage you, reach for you, challenge you, stretch you--yes, even love you. Nothing you can do will shake that."
"But, I...will....not....agree....with....you--I may even get frustrated or upset with you--if you say, "I can't" or "I won't."
Yeah, I say that to the students--and some colleagues--and I said that this morning to myself about walking. But, I have to say that to myself as well each day as I face the constant challenges of teaching.
Make it a good day. --Louis-- Louis Schmier (912-333-5947) email@example.com Department of History /~\ /\ /\ Valdosta State University /^\ / \ / /~ \ /~\__/\ Valdosta, Georgia 31698 / \__/ \/ / /\ /~ \ /\/\-/ /^\___\______\_______/__/_______/^\ -_~ / "If you want to climb mountains, \ /^\ _ _ / don't practice on mole hills" -\____