Early on, when my son Peter was in in Kindergarten, it became undeniable that he needed to run. The first time I realized this was while we were waiting out at the bus stop. In the 10 minutes we waited, he had run back and forth a good mile up and down the neighbor's long driveway. I gave him a hug goodbye and worried not for him, but for his teacher. This kid had energy. He had the type of energy that could be bottled and sold as rocket fuel to NASA. In that moment, Go Far was born. In the typlified school setting, he would struggle to contain his energy so I knew we had an uphill battle. By first grade, I had hashed out a plan to help him put his energy to good use. John Lyman is a very "Green" school. I had contemplated setting up some treadmills and having the kids help power the overhead lights, but alas, the principal already thought my unconventional ways may stretch the rules. Instead, we started a recess running program. In the first year, the kids at John Lyman ran 3500 miles at recess. Crazy enough, all they needed to do this was a pile of popsicle sticks, some charms, t-shirts for rewards and some really enthusiastic mentors tho had their best interest in mind. As it turns out, there were lots of other kids just like Peter who needed to run! Go Far has grown to happen at all the lower schools in RSD 13 and its efforts have produced over 50,000 dopamine driven, Goldfish cracker-powered kid-miles.
Not surprisingly, Peter still runs. He takes his role of Go Far poster child super seriously. Even Kate, his book-powered sister has discovered the wonderful community of CRHS running. She loves the experience. Cross Country at Strong School begins Monday. For a boy who has worn out more sneakers than you can imagine, Pete is so excited to finally be part of an official school team. After all, he's been preparing for a while now. He's ready to put the strong in Strong along side his teammates. For myself, what is so special about this upcoming team at Strong is that it will be the first class of students who have had a running program available to them since they were virtually toddlers. Those who have run Go Far over the years already understand the enthusiasm and love associated with the sport. They know they'll never sit idle as a member of this team. They know they have value because the adults in their lives are invested in them. They have already unknowingly been part of a team for 6 years and will bring their experience and base as athletes to the next level. To this new team, they will bring with them the integrity, perseverance and sportsmanship that Go Far demands.
So this is the call to all of our Go Far runners from over the years to lace up those sneakers. You're ready to be the new stars of Coginchaug's storied running history. Rather than earning little charms, know that a state championship is a reward within you're capabilities if you stick together and grow the upper school program. A good team is born with not only the fastest of runners, but also the more recreational runners that enhance everyone's experience. I dare all of you to let those running legs guide you through the many challenges of middle and high school. You won't be disappointed. I am very excited to cheer you on as you reach your goals!
From you're dedicated running momma , Mrs. Schulten