(Blackpool Half-Marathon training 2019)
Tuesday 16 October 2018
I’m in the chair.
It’s my first local authority review as a Chair of Governors, a role I’ve been in for a matter of weeks. I’m seated opposite the school improvement partner who is asking lots of searching questions about governance. The questions are straightforwardly challenging, nothing that comes out of left field. No curve balls here. I’m being stretched but I’m confident. I’ve spent the last twelve months absorbing information as a governor; I’ve spent the last seven months on the Executive Board. It’s an unusual way to run a school but it’s given me a great developmental opportunity that I’m pressing into service. The more he pushes, the more I’ve got. I think we’re both enjoying the interview.
And then it happens. Quite literally, one second I’m talking through the way in which the governing body is positioning itself to offer greater rigour, support and challenge to the school and the next my left leg feels like it’s on fire. The pain is spectacular; it radiates from my knee to my shoulder and throbs with a burning intensity. For a brief moment it puts me off my stride, not too much, but just enough to make me realise that this injury is throbbing away in the background like the hum of a distant engine. Luckily it ebbs away as quickly as it came and I get back to the business in hand. But for that briefest of seconds I am acutely aware of the irony of feeling most injured when all I am doing is exercising my mind.
The review goes well. I’m proud of the progress that we’re all making. Perhaps what brings it home to me most is when, after the feedback, we make our way through the hall where the last of the after-school club children are helping to pack away toys and games. A parent is waiting at the the other side of locked door in reception. As the door opens and his daughter emerges he asks her how her day has been. She’s clearly smiling and replies it’s been really good. I have to agree.
Injuries are no fun. I miss running. But I’m always looking for the positive and today I don’t need to look very far. It’s not all about running, schools, half-marathons, reviews… sometimes it’s more than enough to see a smiling face to know that you’re helping to make a difference.