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EDITORIAL: A course that will take you far

Here’s a whole new take on ‘Will this be on the exam?’ And it’s always good to see teachers come up with exhilarating challenges for their students.

A physical education instructor at Pictou Academy is strongly encouraging his students to walk the talk – or make that ‘run’ – when it comes to their final mark this year.

Adam White at Pictou Academy wants his Grade 12 students to enter the 5K at the Johnny Miles Running Event next Sunday, and participation does count as part of the final tabulation of marks. He’s been doing this since starting at the school five years ago.

It’s a well-rounded assignment too, with the big picture coming into it. Preparation for the run is part of the process, requiring journaling about their progress, and getting the students to put thought into the principles of training and goal-setting. Students had since April to plan for the run, during which time they followed a workout regime.

Let’s face it, it’s perfectly appropriate that physical education should be physical. That’s one thing when it comes to studying the elements of fitness. Sure you could learn about it all in theory, but getting out and doing the real deal goes a lot further.

At the same time, demands aren’t onerous. Some, in their training, might find they need to walk for spells here and there, that’s fine. That’s the case for most beginner runners. Some plan to run the entire course, some will run and walk, some will bike. The main thing is participation, do the planning, the training and show up for the race.

And the teacher sets a good example in this. White will be running the 10K event Sunday.

One of many great things about Pictou County, there is no lack of running events and other sporting activities that people can take part in. That’s one mark of a community that believes in encouraging activity and opportunities to improve health among its residents.

With the students who are part of this challenge, there are expressions of enthusiasm and remarks about the exhilaration of getting into a physical activity and noting steady improvement during the training process. And that’s not to mention how much fun it can be, along with an opportunity for some great camaraderie. Who knows? It might be the thing that gets some on track to being lifelong runners and fitness enthusiasts.

The lack of physical activity in today’s lifestyles is often discussed. Sedentary behaviour is a byproduct of an age where getting around in motorized vehicles is the norm, laborious jobs have been replaced by automation and much communication and amusement involves electronics.

Showing people the basics of old-fashioned, physical recreation could be one of the most valuable lessons a person could learn.

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