04.07.2015 posted by Chris Marchand
At one point in my life, I had a desire to be a United States Marine. I wanted to be Marine Force Recon. My senior year of high school, I pursued a Navy ROTC scholarship program. Part of the applicant process was an in-person evaluation. For an entire day, I and other applicants would spend time at a Marine Corps recruiting station and be interviewed and go through a physical evaluation. Part of the physical evaluation included a 2.5 mile run. At this point, I was a mid-distance runner. I ran track in high school. However, this was right at the beginning of Football season so I wasn’t as “in-shape” as I could have been.
We all gathered at the starting line. I looked to my right and left. I heard the words get ready. Then, a second before the whistle blew a very old Marine Colonel got on the line next to me and said, “you’re with me.” What did this mean? The whistle blew, and we were off. Now, long distance running to me is anything beyond a mile. I said I was a mid-distance runner. I began to gas shortly after a mile. My legs began to tighten up. My breathing felt like I was sucking in wind. Everything began to hurt. Then, in my right side blind spot was the Marine Colonel, who was just trucking along. I began to fall back from the pack. The Colonel said, “You keep running. Keep pace. Don’t you ever give up.” One mile, two miles and the last half-mile were the worst. Everything hurt and a Colonel who probably would kill me if I stopped running was chasing me.
I finished the race while screaming across the finish line. Let’s just say my time wasn’t as magnificent as the other thin and trim applicants. However, the Colonel said to me, “Good work. You didn’t give up or let up and for you that’s your lesson for today. When we select marines, we are not always looking for the strongest. We are looking for a few good men who simply will not give up and will not quit.” I felt like it was one of my Luke Skywalker meets Yoda moments. The rest of the story is that I’m not a marine. God took me down another path, but He taught me an important lesson through a marine.
You have a month left meeting with your group before you break for the summer. You have been running this race for a long time. Maybe you’re about spent. Perhaps you’re even looking forward to having your nights back. However, your race isn’t finished. You need to finish well. You cannot give up, let up or quit until your race is finished. Think about the next couple of weeks and ask yourself these questions. How are you going to finish? How will you lead your students to the end of this year? Finish well!