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The thing about growing up with a future Olympic marathon running brother is, whether I liked it or not, I was expected to run by default. No sooner would my sister, brothers and I step off the bus in the afternoon; we’d be chased out the door to go for a run, out around the paddock, up the tank hill or some other exotic destination. Of course, my brother Scott would finish miles ahead of us, but the expectation was still there, that I would run and finish. Whether it was training for school cross country or just being chased out of the house to burn off energy, the daily run featured heavily in my childhood. I can’t say
I always enjoyed running. I can’t say I really enjoy it now, but I did like the satisfaction that came from achieving something difficult. My Dad called it ‘character building’. Most of us can relate to that phrase being thrown at us during some difficult trial I’m sure!
On the weekend PCS participated in the Healthy Harold Swim Relay. After five weeks of build-up, the day went off without a
hitch. Students turned up from schools all over Parkes, and along with Parkes Shire Council, Northparkes, Quota, Rotary and other community members, somewhere in the vicinity of 2000 laps were swum between us.
In amongst the fundraising, Healthy Harold and raffles, I saw plenty of students ‘building character’. I couldn’t help but be amazed at some of our very own students from PCS who spent up to 2 hours swimming just to achieve their target. What really blew me away was the fact that it was some of our youngest who were the most committed to setting themselves a challenge and slowly grinding it out. Our swimmers weren’t all members of swim squads or aspiring Olympians, they were simply young people who saw an opportunity to stretch themselves and bless others in the process.
That is the sort of character that will see our students go a long way in life. These are the characteristics that we aspire to develop in our own lives.
As we draw near to Easter, we will again spend time reflecting on the walk that Christ made up that hill to Calvary. It will again remind us of a man, Jesus, who was tasked with the most incredible challenge that only He could walk. There were no coaches, no sponsors, no one cheering him on. Yet in the face of immense adversity, Jesus completed his mission.
At PCS we love character building. We celebrate students overcoming obstacles and achieving difficult tasks like swimming 50 laps at the pool. We know that each small victory and defeat develops in our students self-discipline, determination and substance. As parents and teachers, let’s not shy away from helping our children set large and sometimes unrealistic goals. Let’s support them as they struggle through, knowing that the struggle is what develops character; and that is what we all need.
Have a great week everyone.