Learning on the run (or in the saddle!)

For those of you who have looked at my two previous guest posts for Fit, Feminist, and Almost Fifty, you’ll find the last in the series here. It’s called “Three Things I Now Know, Thanks to Riding L2P24 [London to Paris in 24 hours]”, and among other things it offers comments, support, and hopefully some inspiration for women of all ages struggling with body image issues – something of tremendous importance to me both in the classroom and in the world beyond it.

Enjoy!

Kim

By the way, the eagle-eyed will note that I list our distance for the London-to-Paris ride in two separate places in this post, and that each distance is different. The actual, retail distance we rode is 272 miles (437 kilometres). Holy potatoes!

 

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It’s the ‘Blue Sky’ Raffle!

Activist Classroom friends: what follows is a slight deviation from our regularly scheduled programming. I hope you’ll forgive me for using this forum for a slightly unorthodox purpose; the cause is a good one. Back to thinking about teaching in our next post!

***

Well, we did it: this past weekend, my husband Jarret and I each rode 271 miles from London to Paris, straight through, without sleep. We did not get on the rescue bus. We did not keel over. We made it in 24 hours and 18 minutes: pretty damn respectable.

And now it’s time to celebrate.

We began this journey last September as a test of our own strength and endurance, but along the way we have managed to raise over £2000 for Scope UK, a charity that supports men, women, children and families with disabilities here in the United Kingdom (and beyond). Now that the race is over, we are making one final fundraising push – thanks to my colleague, the talented Canadian painter and multimedia artist Sky Glabush.

Sky has generously donated this piece of his most recent work to support our cause.

Sky collage

It’s a collage that, in its subtle colouring and palimpsestic quality, captures for me an aspect of the building, layering, and shaping work that has been a huge part of our journey over this past year of training and preparation. At its centre is a silver vessel – sleek, strong, a beautiful, powerful body. I find it a fitting tribute to the experience we’ve been privileged to have as we’ve prepared for, and now met, the incredible physical and emotional challenge of this ride.

Sky is an important young member of the burgeoning Canadian art world, and this collage is valued at CDN$1400 (about £900). In the spirit of Scope’s mission, though, we have decided to make it as accessible as possible: we’re holding a raffle to find it a good home.

£10 buys a chance to win the collage; £15 buys two ; £20 buys three. If you’d like to participate in the raffle, here’s what to do:

  • go to our fundraising page at Virgin Money Giving here;
  • enter for donation one of the amounts above (or, if you prefer, a multiple of that amount for double the chances);
  • to ensure fair play, please include your name in the donation or in the donation message (we can’t verify the number of chances you’ve bought if you make your donation anonymous);
  • once you’ve donated, e-mail me privately using the contact form on the “about” page of my blog with your name and a contact email address or phone number (remember: it’s totally cool to buy chances for friends, for family, or for others! If you do, please let me in on the secret in your email);
  • before too long, you’ll receive a confirmation email from me. Once you’ve got that, you’re done. Except, of course, for the finger-crossing!

The ‘Blue Sky’ raffle will remain open until 1 September 2013or until we’ve reached a minimum target of £450 in chances purchased. (We want to honour and respect Sky’s labour in creating this piece of work and his generosity in donating it to us; hence the minimum target.) I’ll offer periodic updates on the blog about how we’re doing; meanwhile, I’d be enormously grateful if readers could pass this post to friends, colleagues, and, especially, to students who you think might really like this piece of work for their own. It’s our hope that someone who could not afford to buy a piece of Sky’s work on his or her own, but who would be tremendously inspired by it, will end up our winner.

With thanks for your indulgence, and for your support,

Kim

Managing stress, and getting it done

In five days I’ll get on my bike in Blackheath, London, and get off at the Eiffel tower (you know where). It’s been a steep, steep learning curve and a lot of very humbling hard work, but my life as a student rider is about to culminate in graduation to the next phase of my cycling career.

What did being a teacher help me figure out about how to ride an ultra endurance marathon? How are the stress management skills I learned writing my dissertation applicable to my life as an amateur cycling athlete – and vice versa?

If you’ve ever found yourself on the cusp of a big project and didn’t know how the hell to begin, click here and read on.

Wish me luck on Saturday!
Kim

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