Mansplaining and Consent

A win and a wondering.


I have said again and again and AGAIN, especially in one particular class, that if someone doesn’t ask for help and isn’t obviously struggling, it’s not helping. It’s bad manners. Last week a kid asked another kid if they needed help, kid said no, so the first kid sat back down. People, a month ago this would not have happened. In fact a month ago this didn’t happen. Not that some girls don’t try to boss others, but in this particular group it’s been boys getting up and trying to take over for girls. And I have been shutting it down as kindly as possible and trying to teach them how to be, because no one likes a mansplainer. I just didn’t realize it started so young.


Same group of kids. We had a pretty significant conversation about consent the other day. Kid was blowing on another kid’s hair. When I asked why, the response was ‘I just wanted to have a little fun’. This makes my blood run cold. I know the kid is little, but eventually the kid will be older. And the attitude of ‘having a little fun’ by using someone else’s body makes me want to vomit. (This kid also gets in others’ personal space and touches other kids even past the point of them saying ‘stop’, so I don’t think I’m putting too fine a point on it. And there are several in this group who think it’s hilarious to drop trou for all to see in the bathroom or grab each other’s backsides.)


It baffles me that I have to have this conversation as a teacher. As a parent, yes. I talk to my kids about consent. Is it that the parents of some of these kids haven’t had the conversation? Because some of them don’t seem to understand or respect the need for it. And some of them don’t seem to understand they need to grant it and if they don’t and the other person doesn’t respect that, there’s a problem. Or is it this is just a thing kids need all the adults in their lives to talk to them about?


A year or two ago (maybe last year? I don’t remember) my husband asked about Christmas cards. I told him I wasn’t going to have the time to send them out, but if he wanted to get them ordered, envelopes stuffed, addresses written, and mailed, he could go for it. So he did. And now he knows what a large pain in the ass it is.


We were talking this year about cards and decided we wouldn’t mail them out. We figured, thanks to Facebook and Instagram, everyone we’d send a card to knows what our kids look like. Woven through the conversation was discussion about how we could spend the money we’d decided not to spend on cards and the fact that we have a friend who is irrationally irritated by cards that are simply signed with a name. (Like, generic boxed cards…no photos, no note, just a name. I get where she’s coming from.) So we decided to donate to the International Rescue Committee and we purchased shelters for 4 refugee families in our friend’s honor. I filled out the form to have the card sent to her, but she hasn’t mentioned it so I’m assuming she hasn’t gotten it yet.


Two birds, one stone. We were able to be generous and we avoided the work of sending out cards.

Trying This On

I started this as a running-related blog. Except…I’m not especially consistent with running. And I’m not really a writer. So this might turn into something more broad that features running when I actually do that.


I’m going to unpack that ‘not really a writer’ bit a little. I say that primarily because I am not driven to write. (My husband gets up at 4am 5 or 6 days a week to write. I…do not.) Secondary to that is I don’t think anyone *really* wants to know what I think about *everything*. (Except said husband. And I can just tell him with words from my face.) Third on the list is I prefer action to talk. That sounds way more James Bond than it is. But really. Are you going to talk about doing the thing or are you going to do the thing? I prefer to do the thing. (Related: I am bad at having feelings.)


Lately I’ve been finding myself thinking thoughts about things and I figured I’d give this another shot. I didn’t want to post on my craft-related blog because I like the purity of focus over there. I thought about starting a new blog but decided this one would be a fine platform, particularly if I fold in bits about running. Even though the address is very specifically running-related, it applies to life too. There are no junk miles. The small interactions matter.

Day 1

of summer break.


All you people who insist teachers have it easy and don’t deserve a few weeks off in the summer? Give it a shot sometime.

But this really isn’t about teaching or the crappy things people say to and about teachers. 


What it *is* about is that this morning I went for a run with a good friend who is struggling through Couch to 5K. Struggling with finding the right shoes, with needing to jack around with the insoles, with needing to lose weight, with feeling like death on a cracker while she’s running. Even with all that she is not giving up. Hooray for her!


The other thing is I convinced another friend to register for a 10K this fall. I told her I’d write her training plan. The first draft is done…I need to tweak it just a bit. I’d like to give her more time to get comfortable with a 6+ mile long run.


My running? Uh…could we talk about something else?


I’m planning on going to the running club meeting tonight, so that’s something.

rattling around

The 3 weeks since the race haven’t exactly been stellar, running-wise. (Otherwise they’ve been just fine.)

But, whatever.

Today I ran three QUICK miles with the dog. Both of us were itching to run, I guess.

I don’t typically focus on one thought while I’m running. It’s a shame, since it’s a nice chunk of uninterrupted time. But that’s just not how my brain works. Instead I tend to hop from lily pad to lily pad, thinking about all manner of things. Today, though, a good bit of my run was spent thinking about getting certified as a running coach.

I’ve been mulling the idea over for a little while. Mr. Awesome is supportive and I think there’s a need for a regular person sort of coach. I did a little research via The Google and all of the coaches’ sites I looked at were pretty intimidating to little ol’ me. These people are serious, hardcore, elite athletes. Me, on the other hand? Will probably never win anything.

Over the last few years I’ve discovered I have a passion for helping people become runners. Those are the people I want to coach and those are the people who I think are intimidated by the 4% bodyfat (also not me – ha!), super speedy runners.

At this point I think I need to (a)pay my running club dues and then (b)convince the running club to host a RRCA certification course.

one week out

Monday, running club…um, no. My legs weren’t sore, but they sure were tired.


Wednesday, running club…walked a mile and a half, ran a mile.


Saturday, different running club…ran 6. In some ways it was incredibly easy (less than half the distance of last weekend’s race) and in others it was incredibly difficult (did I suddenly forget how to breathe?). I found myself puzzled about the difficult parts. Why do my legs feel tired? Why is my brain fighting this? Why am I so tired?

But since it was a casual Saturday run and not a race, I have the luxury of running just to run. 


Also…a bit of the post-race blues. I like the structure of training; I like having runs on the calendar. It’s nice to take a bit of a breather, but if I don’t sketch out at least a rough plan, I’ll start to feel adrift. 




The weather was freaking perfect. It was cold and breezy before the start so I’m glad I had my jacket, but I ditched it pretty early. 


Miles 1 & 2 – Huh. This kind of blows. My legs are tight and, um, 13 miles? Really?

a bunch of miles in the middle – I feel ok. I’m not convinced I can do this, but let’s just take it one step at a time.

Mile 10 – I’m done. Seriously. Can I stop? I’m never doing this again. (Except I know that isn’t true.)

Mile 11 – Well, I got here. 2 more to go. That seems like a really long way. Wait…2 more…I have just under 20 minutes until my goal time…uh…this could be alright.

Mile 12 – DAMMIT my feet hurt. One. More. Mile.

Mile 13 – Let’s GO.