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The Kilometre Club

Inspiration comes in many sizes, small and large. Team Canada’s performance at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics was inspiring on large scale. Obama’s inauguration speech was inspiring on the grandest scale. But, it isn’t always epic events that motivate.

Rosalie, my six-year-old daughter, attends a great school. Her Principal has implemented some solid programs; music appreciation over the PA system, “All School” conga lines, Popsicle Fridays with proceeds to a good cause, Gala events for the parents, Adirondack Chair Charity Auctions (chairs decorated by the students) and many more.

My favorite event is the “The Kilometre Club”. The students, kindergarten through grade seven, run laps around the field before school. Parents and Teachers volunteer to monitor. Four laps around is the equivalent of a kilometer. Individual classrooms track the student’s progress. Over time as the kids hit milestones (fifteen kilometers, twenty-five kilometers . . .) they receive ribbons.

Rosalie loves “The Kilometre Club”. Rain or shine, she runs, with or without her friends. My wife watches and sometimes, with our two other kids in tow, runs along. Jen and I encourage Rosalie; but we have never “pushed” her to run. On her own, Rosalie sets a goal, “Dad, tomorrow, I am going to run two kilometers” and then she goes out and hits the goal.

The fact that Rosalie is leading her class means nothing to her. I say, “Wow, Rosalie you are the top runner in your classroom . . .” she shrugs it off “ You are beating the boys!” is met with a roll of her eyes. Rosalie runs on her own accord, pursuing her own goals. Pure internal motivation coming from a six year-old, how wonderful!

My young daughter has reminded me of an important life lesson: external motivation is fleeting; lasting and powerful motivation comes from within.  Live you own life, you own dreams and pursue your own goals.

Go Rosalie go!


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