Patrik Laine is in a slump.
If you follow hockey, you will know who Patrik Laine is. He was drafted 2nd overall in 2016, with Auston Matthews going number one. He helped Finland win gold in the World Juniors and then played with the men’s team that same year, winning tournament MVP. He was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets and played there until he was traded to the Blue Jackets in January.
He is a very good player. A great player.
But he is in a scoring drought.
“I try to hide it as much as I can, but sometimes you just absolutely can’t. When you’re a player who’s used to scoring goals, getting points, expecting a lot from yourself, it’s the worst situation you can have when you’re not producing. So, it’s tough, but at the same time, you know, you’ve just got to work the same way (and) even harder to get out of it.”
Yesterday I posted on facebook that I had gone for a run.
The run wasn’t unusual in and of itself, except it was the first one in two weeks where I didn’t have to stop and walk a bit.
Where I didn’t stress about the slow pace.
The crappy distance.
Where I didn’t fixate on what the slow pace and crappy distance were doing to my running averages on my app.
Now I’m no Patrik Laine, but I feel that. I have been in a huuuuuge running slump for a couple of weeks and despite my best efforts to will or wish it away, it stuck around. Again, not Patrik Laine over here, but I have set some running goals and the struggle was very much real.
The worst part is that my running time is my thinking time, yet all I was thinking about was how bad each run went. I didn’t notice the animal tracks that are always a part of my route. I didn’t see the subtle greening that was happening in the trees and pastures around me. I didn’t even stop to visit with the cows. (Okay, usually I accidentally startle the cows which makes a mini-stampede that startles me, and it’s mostly me telling myself out loud that WE ARE ALL FINE.)
The worst WORST part was that I paid no attention to the sunsets.
I live for those sunsets.
Perhaps in a serendipitous twist, the app didn’t turn off after Friday night’s run. When I pulled it up the next day, it said it took me 13 hours and 22 minutes to go 7km.
Thirteen hours and twenty-two loooooong minutes.
I deleted it, of course, because it would kill my app averages, although I’m no Olympic athlete and really, what does it matter??? But it was also oddly freeing. I had lost sight of the myriad reasons that I was out there, none of which had anything to do with the run statistics on that app.
I had lost sight of my why.
When I was out there Saturday night, looking at the beautiful sunset, listening to the cows talk, and getting into a running rhythm, I caught a glimpse of that ‘why’ again. And it had nothing to do with distances or pace or total time.
So many times in education, the focus is on those final numbers, not on the experience and what we took away from it. Honestly, as I was deleting that run from my phone, I suddenly could relate to how kids feel if they bomb an exam in a class that averages marks, or get a zero in something and then see what it does to their final grade.
It decimates it.
For me, I just deleted the run. But what recourses do our students have? How do we determine their overall success? What part do they have in setting their own goals and determining what success looks like for themselves?
As we begin our last semester of this year, it’s a good reminder for me to keep that ‘why’ front and center. And Patrik Laine, I hope you remember yours and find the net again…hopefully in time for playoffs!
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