Want to know what the hardest part about the end of the school year is for me? It's not the report cards or the last minute paperwork, though that all sucks. It's not cleaning the room, moving the desks, and then realizing there was a massive mess under the mess that just got cleaned. And its not dealing with 29 fourth-graders who can smell summer break like pie cooling on a nearby windowsill.
It's all the food.
And trying to be fit-minded in the face of it.This is not something unique to Hawaii, though I have found that when Hawaiian's do meetings and get-togethers they do food big. There are no small snacks and little luncheons. If grinds are being provided you had better not have eaten dinner the night before. And administration and teachers love bringing food to the last staff meeting of the year. All teachers everywhere celebrate the year's close and the student's departure with a bacchanalia of foodstuffs.
On top of that, students love bringing food to the last day and benevolent dictators such as myself, who have been preaching the values of fitness and healthy living for nine months, let down our guards and allow whatever junk their parents want to send into our sanctuaries. I then spend the next eight hours amazed at a ten year-old's capacity for putting it away.
If you have never had the chance to be around children and grub, know this:
They will do anything for food.
They will eat like they have never been fed, have never seen such delights, like they are Augustus Gloop in Mr. Wonka's factory, if you provide yummies.
Today was the last day of school. I had kids bringing in cupcakes, chips, brownies, more chips, cookies, and goodie bags. Sure, I could have been a more responsible teacher and assigned snacks and students and divided the class up by the Christmas party and the End of the Year party. I could have done that. But I'm normally too busy teaching to remember those kinds of details. So on the last day my room turns into Buffet From Heaven. And they eat and snack. Then they go to lunch and pick. Then they come back and ask if I can hand out the cupcakes mocking them from the back table.
And they always bring enough for their favorite teacher.
Yesterday, some parents provided lunch. Take out from a local food joint. Much the tasty goodness. And I, like an idiot, got seconds. Because it was good and I'm no better than my students. And wanted to sleep through the last forty-five minutes of teaching. Then we had the Aloha staff meeting. And the staff brought food and snacky-snack-snacks. Well, I can't be rude, can I? Because I'm actually worse than my students.
I was so full yesterday after the meeting and lunch my stomach was still distended when we went to bed. I was going to work out after school yesterday. I could barely sit up on the couch. Today I was smarter. I knew I wouldn't be able to fend off all the children plying me with goodies. So I got up early and did 2100yds in the pool. Ha ha! Showed them.
Normally, I'm pretty good about what I eat. I'll snack and have the occasional chocolaty dessert. But I'm also swimming 45 minutes, riding at least an hour thirty, and/or running an hour. I've earned those M&Ms. (Dark chocolate, please!) I fight the good fight against the Demon Temptation. But the last two days I've ended up prone on the classroom floor at 2:10, staring at the ceiling fan, and wondering how I was dumb enough to do that to myself AGAIN.
But now the year is over. Scrumptious temptations won't be so ubiquitous. Salad will be the word of the day. And dark chocolate M&Ms will be a treat after a long day on the bike. It's hard not to feel guilty about over-indulging until I waddle. But it's not a habit, and that excuse helps me justify my foolishness. Over the last ten months I've earned a few minutes lying on my carpet, watching the ceiling fan, and listening to students celebrate their freedom from the oppression of their educational overlords. Today I digest and relax.
But tomorrow, it's on and the pain will remind me I'm alive and striving for stronger.
This is Dirtbag Fitness and there is work to be done.
Today though, there is probably nap to be done. And Pepto.