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Another fun week of summer run camp has come and gone!
Congrats to Gavin, Jack, Zadie, George, Jaden, Shea, and David on your week of hard work, play, and lots of improvement. Thank you immensely to all our awesome volunteer coaches for coming out each day to make it a great experience for each kid!! Reza, Nate, Mairead, Matt, Alli, Rachel, Amelia, Marina, Amanda A., and Makai. With each runner needing 1:1 coaching, it takes many volunteers to cover them for the week. Thank you for sharing your time, talents, and spirit.
We ran Mon, Wed, Fri at the track, and Tues, Thurs on the trail. We worked on stamina, pacing, team work, speed, form, reaction time at "go!", following thru the finish, coordination, balance, core strength, self calming with deep breaths, and various individual mental aspects and practicing positive behaviors. The week ended with a 100m race and a timed 1 mile, awesome form and focus with drills, and working together on exercises instead of with their coaches. Each day ended with writing about their workouts in their journals. Whether they can only note the weather, distance run, and write their names, or could include their achievements, goals, and challenges, journals encourage everyone to reflect on their experience.
I love the condensed and small nature of camp week. It not only gives the kids a chance to bond and develop in ways that they can't with the lack of frequency or routine of only once weekly or occasional attendance at regular practices, it also gives me a better chance to develop coaching and the program by learning, experimenting, testing, applying, and gaining food for thought and ways to better run regular practices or work with certain individuals. It energizes.
Working with such a wide range of personalities, cognitive and physical abilities, and anxiety and attention difficulties is a challenge above training typical young runners in the moment, but when you step back and look from a distance, it's all the same. Everyone has fears, fatigue, moods, doubts, individual physical issues, is motivated by something or other, wants to connect with others at some level or other, has their own idea of fun, and has the ability to become a better runner.
If there is one thing life and sport has taught me, it's that growth is a slow process; and that there is a right and wrong time to expect, push, or require something of someone, including ourselves. Verge runners have taught me to finally relax and truly appreciate and believe in the value of the long game. At Verge, we are more patient and flexible than a typical program. I do also know that frequency and routine are very important for progress, so the week long program gives us a chance to capitalize on it. I never don't have these kids on my mind and may let things fly that appear to need immediate addressing, but I am always watching, waiting, feeling for the moment to pounce, subtly if possible so the growth is their own when they are ready. I am not a wow factor inspirational type and have difficulty speaking. This is how our volunteer coaches play such an important part as mentor and inspiration to our runners, in addition to assisting them with instructions, doing their exercises and drills correctly, keeping time, and staying focused. Thank you again to our volunteers.
Great job team!! Have an awesome summer. See you soon.