I was there for the very first Morning Mile event at Hidden Oak Elementary School. There was a good sampling of kids who took to the field behind the school and logged some laps, and I think everyone had a pretty good time. I did, too. I ran a mile or so, a good kick-off to my morning workout.
Since that first day, the Morning Mile has gotten better and better. That sampling of kids has turned into a crowd so hyped up the PE coach has to hold them back some days until official start time. When he opens the gates to the grassy area, where four laps equals one mile, kids spill all over the place and run, walk, hop, dance, visit, and laugh. They collect straws to mark each lap, and they turn them in for a total count when they’re done. They look accomplished — I see it on their faces on my Thursday volunteer mornings — and while many tackle the challenge simply for the all-mighty necklaces they earn with foot charms signifying every five miles, the bunches of benefits they enjoy (even if they don’t know it) are thrilling. The Morning Mile builds stronger bodies, sharper minds, self-confidence and self-esteem, social connections, healthy competition, and a whole bunch of sweaty heads. I love it, and so do the students — I know this because I hear moans and groans on rainy and too-cold days when the Morning Mile is cancelled, and there’s really no better testimonial than that. Kids want to run. They just need the opportunity. And at Hidden Oak, they have it. Thank goodness.
Mom of 2nd and 4th graders