Saturday, March 3, 2012

Run On Zaryn: 3 of 31

From the after-race photo booth.
Neon green. That was the shirt color for today's 5K walk, run and roll at my school. The race establishes a scholarship in Zaryn Hennigan's name--Zaryn passed away this fall. His family (Mom, Dad and grandfather) are on the faculty at Cypress. Faculty, family, sometimes the line blurs and this morning was one of those times. Students, teachers, deans, and even the principal participated. I'd never done a 5K before so I anticipated coming in dead last. Much to my surprise, I didn't. I loved it: lots of joy this morning. Here's what made my first 5K awesome:

  • The turnout: there were more than 100 people who participated and many, many more volunteers.
  • The sea of green shirts
  • No one cared what you looked like; roll-out-of-bed hair, plain face was the order of the morning for most.
  • The fact that walk, run or roll was an expectation from the start. I didn't feel badly about being pokey.
  • The yells of encouragement all along the way--from administrators, teachers, volunteers and students. 
  • The water stations--manned by student volunteers in the Leo club who came early on a Saturday to set up, direct foot traffic, provide water and encouragement.
  • The cheers: hearing "Come on, Ms. Spillane!" from current and former (seriously, that made my week).
  • My son and I did it together--he rode his bike with our good family friend (his pretend sister), Hope.
  • The opportunity to focus and be quiet inside but still be surrounded by support--I realized that much of time we walk or run alone (in our classrooms, in our personal lives, etc)  and in order to finish the race set before us, we have to pull up something deep inside ourselves and make it matter. 
  • My friend, Beth who  teaches with me,  walked and ran with me and for all of the other teacher friends who shouted encouragement.
  • My friend ,Erin who also teaches with me. She's a runner and halved my time at least, (she should she's probably half my age too!) but when she saw me come into the stadium for the final lap, she ran out on the track and said "it's no fun to finish alone, so I'm going to do it with you." Amazing.

And Zaryn, what a legacy of love you have left us with. Peace be with your Cypress family.


  1. "Faculty, family, sometimes the lines blur . . ." You said it. I'm glad that you were able to heal together and make something memorable and unifying from the tragedy of loss.

  2. The feeling that comes with finishing a 5K is amazing, but to finish one that honors such a young man and his family...what a joy! Congratulations and thanks for sharing such an uplifting slice!

    1. You are welcome, Tracy--that you for the encouragement! it was a joyous morning.

  3. definitely a pink stone morning!

    1. I was thinking just that this morning when the ducks lifted off the pond near the Bear Creek turn off. : )

  4. Sounds like a very fulfilling day! Hope you got some rest this afternoon!

  5. I have tears in my eyes! The last lines totally got me...with your friend finishing with you because yes we can do it alone, but isn't it just sweeter with a friend. And then acknowledging the legacy of love Zaryn left. A very beautiful tribute!

  6. Congrats on finishing your first 5K! Such a great slice - the love and community bonding shines through it!

  7. Schools are about community, first and foremost, and about teaching kids the power of what can happen when we work together. Great story!