Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Do you think you will......

I was teaching a final year high school class today and as they are only a few weeks away from graduating I've been taking them aside one by one and asking them questions about their future. This has been for my benefit perhaps more than theirs.

Here are some of the questions I put to them today.
"In your future do you think you will:

run a marathon?"
have children?"
learn to play a musical instrument?"
take a trip to Europe?"
own your own business?"

After they answer I ask follow up questions but apart from the students simply practicing using the language I've found this exercise illuminating. Basically nobody imagines themselves running a marathon in their future. This is, I guess, because they are simply not interested in running or they can't imagine doing something that seems impossible to them now.

I think I would have answered in the negative too at seventeen but I hope they will try one day and come to know the reasons I love running so much.

The following quote by Christopher Reeve explains much. He says: "So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable."

For me I love running because I can challenge myself and what I once thought impossible can be made, through effort and sacrifice, possible.

Living a good life is all about doing now what we thought we couldn't do before. Or at least trying to ;)


  1. Never mind at 17 - 5 years ago (when I was 21 ;-)) I would never have said that I wanted to run a marathon. It's interesting how what interests/appeals/challenges us changes over time. I am very thankful that it has.

  2. Very profound Scott! This could start a whole philosophical debate about the meaning of life.

  3. Yes, celeste, it's all a bit too D&M for me.

    But I can imagine the answers to those questions.
    1) え~~~???マラソン~?やだよう~!
    2) Yes. I want a children with foreigner. Kawaii aka-chan hoshiiii!! I want big foreign man just like you Scott-sensei!
    3) んんん。。。サクスすきね。
    4) Yes, I want visit Milano and Venizia and Rondon.
    5) いえ。私はサラリマンになります。If own business, just like Nova. Sugu bankurapsu.

  4. I agree with Jen_runs. By 18 I wanted to run the Gold Coast half, but thought that a full was impossible! Of course, I didn't actually run a half until I was 30, and even then the thought of the full was improbable. Don't think I ever thought it was inevitable, but now I'm hooked!

    As for what I want to do when I grow up, I still don't know....

  5. What an interesting set of questions - not at all what I would have imagined.

    My answers: not sure that I want to run a marathon even now. Have achieved some of the others ie children but haven't been to Europe (have to confess my OS experience is Bali), have owned a business (never again - too stressful).

    The meaning of life surely becomes clearer on a run.

  6. Stephen, if Scott's students want to have children with a big foreign man, they need to look further afield. At least 3" further afield.

    When I was in high school, normal people didn't run marathons. I did think I'd have children, but I didn't. How lucky was that?!!

  7. When you were in high school Ewen wasn't "Blacksmith" the choice of trades?

  8. Yes, it was up there. I chose sulky design and construction, but dropped out in second term.

  9. At 17 I was at a Catholic girls school. I reckon the nuns would have put these questions to us ...

    In your future do you think you will:
    get married?
    have children?
    have more children?
    have even more children?
    have even more children again?

    Then again, its more likely that would have been orders ...

    In your future you will:
    get married!
    have children!
    have more children!
    have even more children!
    have even more children again!

  10. 1. "Yes" to the marathon - but not for some time yet
    2. "I wish" but I am running out of time !
    3. I tried the guitar last year for the first time, need some more spare time
    4. Would love to go again
    5. Maybe??
    I was always told never say never, never say always.

  11. Amen Scott. Quite true. Running opened up a whole new world to me. I never thought I could achieve anything like the things I have through running.

  12. I can't imagine running a marathon with my dodgy old body, but you never know!