February 19, 2017 by Soo Ee
The process to this race was very daunting. Questions and doubts were hurled my way like a hurricane the moment TRTP stepped in.
I understood where they were coming from, with the recent death incidences circulating the media. What I didn’t get was the way they placed me under interrogation and the way they were looking for something I didn’t do officially in order to block the kids from participating.
The moves were smooth and subtle but I wasn’t clueless.
I was angry.
As a coach, as a very experienced Physical Education teacher and most importantly, as a human being, I wouldn’t risk the trust my charges placed upon me to care for their well being. I would definitely not gamble with their physical wellness or their lives just to show the world what I have.
It dawned upon me they had the thought I would risk the children’s lives.
I told them I registered the girls for the 2.5 km competitive because I know they have been well-trained and are ready. Doing the race was a good exposure for them.
The more I heard, the angrier I became.
Finally, I said, “If it is going to cost anyone any problem, it’s okay. Even though they have signed up under the school, I will pay for them myself.”
I was on the verge of storming out of he office with the invoice, which was in her hands.
The entire thing was deeply disturbing. Standing there, I was made to feel like I had committed the crime of the century.
The voice of rationality took over. “Let the kids run. You need TRTP’s approval. Don’t partake in the ugliness.”
So I took a deep breath, headed with her into one of the offices and told myself to stick to the objective – by hook by crook they must run.
The rational mind again,”no to comments about them and just answer their questions. This will end soon.”
So I sat down to answer questions like I was a six year old.
“Yes I am sure of their abilities.”
I wouldn’t sign them up for a 2.5km race without first being sure they are able to do it.
“Yes I made sure they are well prepared for this.”
Because WE TRAINED THEM.
Holy cow.. how many more…
“Yes the parents are in the know and I have communicated with them.”
The parents are bringing them to the venue.
I forgot how many times I had to repeat myself.
My motivation took a serious beating that afternoon. I never felt so down. I just wanted to send them for a competition. I didn’t register them to take this kind of verbal beating.
At the end of the day I am thankful to the very supportive parents for giving me a chance to show them how much potential their kids had in them and also being there for their kids.
One of the mum was happy I let her child enter the race. She said her daughter had always wanted to do a race like that. The parents were very happy their child came for the race. The kids were excited. They got a feel of what’s it like to run long distance competitive side by side runners with the same desire to excel.
All of you people reinforced in me what I did was right.
The girls did better than I expected them to. They came in 2nd, 3rd and 7th in their gender group with pretty decent timing.
They still have a long way to go but as of now, we are all one step away from what things might have been had I not been motivated but manipulated into making an otherwise rash decision. I am glad I allowed the voice of rationality to speak and chose to listen to my inner voice and not the random opinions of others.
I will keep close to my heart that these kids are capable of amazing things and I will do all I can to help them get to where their potential will bring them.