Saturday, June 19, 2010

Another Running Blog....THE POSSE

I have a running posse now. It started out small. The first few days of my running I was solo, running by the villagers and waving. I have been consistent, leaving the house at 5:30 and planning my runs based on time and intensity. At first, a few kids would come out to race me; others would just watch, eyes wide open in wonder, as I plodded by. I would finish my run and then the kids would swarm the backyard area where I was stretching and imitate my moves. After a few days of this routine, I invited them to come along with me the following day. Pisi, one of my top students, eagerly said she would come. So the next day at 5:30 I went outside to wait, but there was no sign of her. I gave it five minutes before jogging off on my own. She showed up about an hour after I returned, So sorry, I fell asleep! I said no problem, just come tomorrow! True to her word, she was outside, ready to run at 5:15 the following afternoon, sneakers and all. We charted a course down to the Mormon Church and back, figuring it would take about 20 minutes total. It was a struggle for her but Pisi made it all the way there and back, and we were greeted by loud cheers from my quickly forming posse as we entered the village center. They all followed to stretch. The following day there was a knock on my door at 4:30pm. Sara, we have four today. I was feeling pretty run down from a cold I am struggling through and told the kids I didnt think I would be running. I lay down in my bed to read, but the kids would not leave. Look! We have four! Pisi, Luti, Malo, and Siaki! I said to myself, oh man, there is no getting out of this run today, I have created a monster. I rolled myself out of bed, put on my running attire and walked out the door around 5pm. The kids were giggling and stretching in no apparent order. Pisi had her sneakers on but Siaki and Luti wore Jandals (flip flops) and Malo was barefoot. Some were stretching their arms, others copying yoga poses that I have done in the past. The four runners were in the middle of my backyard and surrounding them were all of their little siblings. It was quite a scene. I led them in some small pre-run stretches for about 5 minutes and then we hit the road. Our goal was once again the Mormon Church. We turned left out of my driveway and began to run, and as we did, more kids flocked to join our group. By the time we reached the other side of the bridge (about a minutes run away) our group had doubled in size. We jogged down the road to the entertainment of all the adults weeding on the sides of the roads. Gradually the group began to taper off around the 5 minute mark, and at the 10 minutes, only the boys were still running. We turned around at the Mormon church and every few minutes overtook a few stragglers. The boys were in awe, they kept saying, wow! Faamalosi teini! Meaning, strong girl! We made it back and I served water to those who finished the run. We stretched and chatted in broken Samoan and broken English. All of these runners are my students, so it was almost like a tutoring session running with them, although I felt I was the one being tutored! They asked me what other sports I like besides running, so I told them basketball. Their eyes light up, oh, seki a! They asked if I know Troy. I think they were referring to football but I said yes and agreed that he was a great player. Then I asked them if they know Michael Jordan and they both smiled, followed by Siaki jumping up and doing a poor imitation of the moonwalk. No! No! No! Not Michael Jackson, Michael Jordan! But they were lost in dance, and we all were laughing. It was a fun afternoon. I am resting this weekend but come Monday the training starts again. Who knows what will become of my posse over the two-day break. I have a feeling it will be larger than ever come Monday though!

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