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Blog: Give your best

You might see me running this term! Not very far, but I hope quite regularly.

5192lyql80lI told the children in my first assembly about a brilliant book by Matthew Syed called ‘You are Awesome’. Syed is now a journalist, but he used to be an Olympic table-tennis player. And he did this, he says, by practising really hard. His book, which is for children, aims to tell us how to ‘dare to be brilliant at (almost) anything’. He chooses his words carefully: he doesn’t suggest that we can do anything, but that we should dare to do anything. This is a great philosophy for all of us, but particularly for our children, facing a world of opportunities.

My favourite section of this book is called ‘The Block’. Matthew and his brother had a route, a lap, around the streets where he lived that they called ‘The Block’. And they timed each other running a single lap over and over again. They constantly tried to find ways to beat their record: by eating more; or eating less; or changing the time of day that they ran; or changing what they wore; or by running more frequently; or less frequently.

And for them, ‘The Block’ wasn’t about setting a national record. The Block was about setting a personal record. Challenging themselves. Constantly trying to beat their own times. And he talks of his joy when his brother finally got his time under 3 minutes.

Their attitude and desire to constantly improve is really impressive. And in the book they apply it to lots of different areas of life. I’ve applied it to the Wigan Run, which I'll be doing at the end of term! So I’ve found my own ‘Block’.  Starting at the flagpole, I head towards the entrance gate. I turn left this side of the bonfire and head along the far edge, then left round the final tree and back to the flagpole.

I won’t become an Olympic standard runner, but that isn’t the point. I will keep going to try to do the best that I can.  Which was my assembly message for the children. In everything you do, give your best, your absolute best, your personal best.

Colin MacIntosh

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