Monday, December 1, 2008

10th Grade Teacher and Ironman Discusess Endurance And The Next Generation

Nate Loman is a 10th grade U.S. History teacher in Nordonia and a self-proclaimed "endurance junkie." He's done marathons, Iromans, road races, mountain bike events, and Cyclocross. Most recently, he has participated in the Boston Marathon, Ironman Louisville, and Ironman Wisconsin. His drive and motivation push him to the top of his age group in every race.

Nate explains his obsession as something that helps him get the most out of life. He says, "All these things are how I love to experience the world around me. I love being outside and moving through the environment." Nate's love of teaching has expanded into his athletic ventures. He's a spinning instructor and a AFAA Certified Personal Trainer, and has tried to bring his love of sport to the kids he teaches by coaching cross country, track, and soccer. But Nate has encountered some obstacles in trying to share his love of motion. In his words:

"I work in a predominately middle to upper middle school district with solid facilities all the way around. However, there is something a bit odd about this community in terms of running and the like--they just don't get it. When I was a head Cross Country coach there I could only maybe muster about 7 male runners, and about the same number of females, and this is out of a High School with about 1300 kids. I say it is odd, because districts with similar socio-economic backgrounds that we compete against have much stronger running programs both in terms of numbers and ability.

"I provide this little snapshot to say that I think the students and staff alike see me as extreme. Don't get me wrong, it's not in a bad way--they all see my pursuits as positive and healthy, they always make comments about the way I eat and the like. I think they see it as something to be admired, but they also see it as something they don't really believe they are capable of.

"I have been described as intense, disciplined, "the fittest person they know." All of these things are great to hear, but they don't seem to internalize what they are saying. They don't understand that they are capable of the exact same thing."

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