Stories And Inspiration
GO FAR Helps Teacher Get Back to RunningSubmitted by Karen Grossman on Apr 27th 2018 - 12:00AM. | Perma Link
For teacher Elizabeth Bowser, her school’s GO FAR club has helped reignite a love of running.
She began running several years ago with the help of fellow teacher Michelle Pastore. When Pastore created Johnson Street Global Studies’ club, Bowser helped out. She built up to nearly 10-mile runs at the time, but running took a backseat when she had her now 17-month-old daughter.
Having a baby meant extra weight and less time. When GO FAR started this spring, she knew it would be a good way to connect with her students and get back to running.
Her husband and stepdaughter have followed suit, training at home. “It’s gotten everybody involved,” she says. “It sparked my interest and now the whole family’s trying to get healthy.”
A teacher for special needs students, Bowser has enjoyed practicing with them.
“That’s been wonderful, watching the kids start to love running, and I’m beginning to love it again too,” she says. “It’s neat to watch that and feel it.”
She’s noticed personal improvements. “Me making that commitment with the kids once a week has just really gotten me back on track,” she says.
Bowser knows how hard running can be, and she pulls from her own experiences to motivate the students. She knows what it feels like when things get hard, wanting to stop or give up.
“There’s a fine line with pushing kids,” she says. “You don’t want to push too much, but at the same time, can you make yourself continue a little bit longer? If you need to, stop and walk and then get back to it.”
Bowser pushes herself too. She says she may have lost her momentum, but she’s done a 5K before, and she can do it again.
“Running your first 5K is a big deal. Not everybody can run a full three miles,” she says. “That’s what I tell the kids at school, ‘You guys are amazing. You’re going to be able to run a 5K.’ You know you can do that and then you push yourself to do something else, to do more.”
She says it’s important for students to see adults at practices too. “There’s some really neat kids on my squad, and a lot of them already have that passion for running,” she says. “I think when they see the adults in the club doing the same thing that we’re asking them to do, it makes it better.”