My wife and friends are always asking me to tell stories from my teaching days. For the most part they are better in person, because I am a pretty animated story teller. But I figured I could still get a couple laughs on here.
One of the most embarrassing moments I had as a teacher hurt my body just as much as my spirit. Most of the time I taught PE for the special Ed department at the high school. I taught in adaptive behavior, so most of my students had an emotional disturbance issue, along with learning and behavioral issues. A lot of my kids were in and out of jail or mental institutions. They were challenging, but I could have a lot of fun with them, too.
One day, we were in the gym just having some free play time. I got to talking a little trash with one of them about who was faster. Now, in high school, I was pretty fast (that was 50 pounds and 18 years ago). This kid had it in his mind that just because I was white and old, I couldn’t beat a young black kid in a flat out foot race. So naturally, I challenged him to a race in the gym.
Like most gyms, it was a basketball court. We agreed to race the length of the court, starting at one wall and ending at the other. Ready, set…… GO!!! We were off!!! I had a slight lead, but he was gaining on me. I turned on the afterburners and gave it my all. There was no way in hell this kid was beating me!! But, for some reason, my brain and balance couldn’t keep up with my blazing speed. In the last 10-15 feet of the race, I tripped and ate the hard wood floor. I am pretty sure I bounced a couple times as I slid into the wall. But again, my mind was on WINNING. I stuck out my hand as I slid into the wall, and I am 100% sure I won.
Maybe it was the speed of the slide, or the kid (and everyone else in the room, including adults) laughing hysterically that helped me win. Either way, a win is a win. I jumped up and started to claim my win. About 5 seconds into my winning speech, I realized how badly I was hurt. I grabbed my chest, and hit my knees. I couple people came to check on me as they wiped away the tears of laughter. Once I was ok, that kid challenged me to a rematch. My answer – “UHH, no way, man, I slid into that wall before you. I win and you just have to live with it. I am done forever!”
Moral of the story: I am still awesome.
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.
1 Corinthians 9:24