Monday, April 19, 2010

Go the Distance - What's in a name?

When we first began planning this event we knew it needed a catchy name. By the second meeting we decided to call it Go the Distance. I liked the name. It was fine. But as the event has taken shape the phrase “Go the Distance” has come to have more meaning for me. It is an appropriate name for a 24-hour run because of the extreme distance that I intend to cover but there is more to it than that.

The phrase originated in the boxing world and it was used to describe a fight that went all scheduled rounds without stopping due to a knock out. I remember in the original Rocky movie, all Rocky Balboa wanted to do was “Go the Distance” against Apollo Creed. “Nobody’s ever gone the distance with Creed”. For Rocky, an incredible underdog in the fight, it was not his primary objective to knock Apollo out; he just wanted to still be standing when that final bell rang. The more I thought about the name of our event the more I realized it was the perfect fit.

In many ways I approach this 24-hour run as if I am entering the ring for a title fight. A shot at the title against a formidable opponent that I have faced before. Each of the previous times I’ve faced this opponent it was an epic battle till the end. In this case my opponent is the distance and I have an incredible amount of respect for my opponent. I know there will be no first round knock out. This fight will Go the Distance. I already know I will take a beating. I may be knocked down but I will somehow have to find a way to get back on my feet and continue. In the end, like Rocky, I will still be standing. I will have gone the distance.

As I’ve said before, Go the Distance is not just about me and the challenge I’ve set for myself. It is about a school and a community that has decided to take it upon themselves to do something a little out-of-the-box to ensure that health and fitness programs remain a priority at our school. I’m confident that on Friday April 23rd, at 8:50 am when the 24 hours has expired and the event is over, our fight will continue. There will continue to be a need for funding that the State and District are unable to provide and we will have a choice to either accept the reduction in programs because it is easier or we can fight for what we believe in. “Life is full of choices. You can choose the path of less resistance or you can choose to Go the Distance.”