The Running of The Bulls

It begins promptly at 8:50 a.m. The gates open and at first all you hear is the slowly increasing sound of footsteps. A few sound to be walking, but as the volume increase, apparently so does the velocity. Before long the stampede reaches it’s crescendo and you fear that your life may be in danger if you step out of your door as they pass. Voices cry out in fear, anger, and joy, and still the running continues. The dull roar gradually subsides. Only a few stragglers remain, but they rush onward as the rest had done before them. Finally the public address announcer silences the throngs; “Good Morning boys and girls. Welcome to another day of learning at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School.”

I’m at this school two days a week and the running never stops. The children are ages 4-12. No matter where they are going or what the reason, they run as if their life depended upon it. They could be going to the bathroom, returning to class, or going to the principal (he’s a prince who’s your pal). They could be on their way to the nurse because they broke their leg and they’d be running. If they’re not escorted by an adult, as soon as that classroom door opens these kids take off as if they are a super ball shot out of a cannon. They bounce off the walls and each other as they careen down the hallways and stairs. The next time one of them touches the bottom three steps on their way down the stairs it will be the first time. I’ve asked them why they run and leap on their way to everywhere and none of them has any idea why they do this. I guess the adult equivalent is how we always drive as if we’re in a hurry, screaming inside our cars for others to get out of our way, even if we’re going to get a root canal. I suppose that’s why funeral processions get to run all the red lights. We’re even in a hurry when we’re dead.

Imagine if adults continued our childhood running everyday at our jobs and other places. At the supermarket we could race down the aisles crashing our carts like bumper cars trying to be the first to the checkout. In church we would jump over seats and into the aisle to be the first to be blessed. At the doctor as soon as that magical door opens to the exam rooms in back we’d all race and push through the door, perhaps knocking over a nurse on the way. Healthiest sick person wins! I’m not sure why, but I think this image would be particularly entertaining at the OB/GYN. As we wait for the copy machine in the office we’d push, jostle and budge each other as the weaker co-workers would shout, “Mr. Johnson! I was here first and Phil cut in line!” Imagine the fun. I don’t think that youth is wasted on the young. I’d love to write more, but I’ve gotta run!

18 responses to “The Running of The Bulls

  1. LOL, this post is so cute! I can so relate to the kids you speak of. When i visit my kids in their homes, they never stop…they run, they bounce they jump. I remember i had 2 sisters, 4 and 6, at the beginning of this year. I payed them a visit and all they wanted to do was show me how they could do handstands!! They ran from one room to another the whole time, i had to keep up with them, by the end, they had to drag me by the hand!!

  2. All that youthful running shows an excitment for life that all too often, as we grow up, becomes running in place. Running toward a goal is what keeps us all youthful. My fast running days are past, but I still like to think I’m moving forward.

  3. That would be fun to be racing everywhere. I’d probably end up all bruised up at the end of the day coming home from Wal-mart. I think it’ll help me release my fustrations. But then again, I wasn’t one of those kids who would run in the halls or push everybody out of the way to get in front of the line. I was always the one on time in the classroom.

  4. I am generally against running unless there is somewhere I am going and I am late. But that’s now. I used to run around like a maniac when I was younger. But I think I do so much running in my head that I am just too knackered to do the real thing.-N

  5. LOL!“Getta outta my way, I’ve got blogging to do!”

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  7. Is it wrong that I still want to run around like that? I also want to push in line. I’m always just on the edge of shoving the people in front of me out of the way. I control it, but it’s hard.

  8. Phil, you’ve got me looking forward to my funeral. I’ll be able to run all those red lights without worrying about gettin a ticket. 🙂

  9. what a wonderful post, phil. you never fail to entertain! i love the last line the best.

  10. Sometimes I catch myself running for no reason and wonder about it. Now I know it’s just my inner child. Great post!

  11. Michelle, Sometimes I’ll jump down the stairs with the kids or skip in the hall when no other school staff is around. The kids are always amazed as if they had no idea adults could do that.Bob- I agree. The running is just a sign of exuberance. I still have to restrain myself from running and jumping in my hallways at work. Sometimes I do it when no one is looking.Will- I’ll bet you’d tattle on the rest of us if we ran in the office.Nat- When I was discussing this running thing the kids do a co-worker said that kids running is the equivalent of adults dancing. I guess the kids are just dancing to the music in their heads. That’s a nice thought isn’t it?Tai- You’ve the idea. I’d better run over to your blog to see what you wrote.

  12. Cali Girl- I’m like that too. I’m one of those people who stands in line imagining what I might do if there were no societal rules.Gary- How ironic is it that we hurry to the cemetary? It’s not like were going to die if we don’t get there on time.Barbara- Hi Babs, thanks for popping in!Say Rah!- Thanks. I hadn’t realized how people would enjoy this post when I wrote it. Geewits- It’s great that you still can feel the joy of running for no reason. I love to end baseball practice by racing with my team of 8 year olds.

  13. I was always a stroller, which explains my (sometimes) tardiness as an adult.

  14. I’m not runner. And I can’t remember liking it when I was a kid. What is wrong with me?

  15. LOL 🙂

  16. i catch myself skipping when no one is around, i don’t know why but skipping seems to take years off. also, if i ever happen to run across a hopscotch (remember those) i have to do it.

  17. I don’t even like to ‘run’ errands. By the way… I think you are right on about linking to the way we drive. =)

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