Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

An “Iron Knight” Or An “Iron Maiden”

This past weekend, my oldest daughter participated in her second elementary school triathlon. It is a school district wide event, so the triathlon has been called the Iron Knight Triathlon (the high school mascot is called the Knight, or for the females, the Maiden).

The event was in its third year and involved over 1000 students from grades Kindergarten through sixth grades, separated into three divisions of grades and then genders. Each grade division is then established with a different duration to allow for the disparity and difficulty. For my daughter, who is finishing fourth grade, she had to swim three lengths of the high school pool, then ride her bicycle a mile and half, and then jog 3/4 of a mile. She had done this course last year for the first time, and trained a lot harder this year, knowing what to expect during the transitions between legs. No surprise, she improved her time from last year, and as I viewed an overhead view provided by the school district of the event, it was amazing to see how elaborate and huge this event has become in only its third year.

But there are two things of importance to take out of this post. First, the emphasis on physical fitness, even for our children at all ages. And this took place, not during school but on a Saturday – morning and afternoon, though training meetings for the triathlon took place on school days, after hours, and of course practices were on the student athlete’s time. Every day the children were expected to train, eat well, and get plenty of rest. This was a good thing.

The second point I want to make, as a huge supporter of public school teachers, I mentioned this event took place on a Saturday, morning and afternoon. Swim practices for the event were also held on Saturdays. Guess what, there were numerous teachers and other staff members involved who volunteered to make this event as great as it was. And while I am only writing about the triathlon, there are many other events that take place by teachers who volunteer their time. I bring this up because it is contract time again for many schools including my daughters’ school district. And there are always morons who want to spew out the garbage about teachers being part time workers, and they clearly are not. Any parent who is involved with their child’s education, and that means more than just sitting at the kitchen table making sure the child does their homework, but participating in the various other functions held within the school, would see plenty of dedicated teachers, who many are parents themselves, and you would see the extra hours that these family members put in, away from their families. I will write more on this in a different post. But for now…

GREAT JOB!! elementary students of the North Penn School District. And to my daughter, I am so proud of you. As I trained with you, I could not keep up with your efforts (at least as far as the running) so I have an appreciation for the time, effort, and practice you put in. I hope you participate again next year, of course in the higher division, which means a lot more practice and a lot more distance. But if there is one thing I know about you and your sister, you can do anything when you put your mind to it.

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