Dear Miss Peel, Mr Demitiri, Mr Lia and Mr Robinson.
Hi, it’s me, Anthony Malloy, although I was pretty much exclusively called Molly at school. Just wondering if you remember me, but you probably don’t. I was the guy who was, without exception, always picked last in the teams, the one who held back and let others go in front me in the gym and the one who was thrilled to make it to year 10 so physical education was no longer compulsory. I’m sure you were all great people, good teachers too, but my teenage self despised you and what you put me through.
Even if you remember I’m not sure you’d recognise me now. Sure I’m older but if you remember me you’d remember be most likely for all the wrong reasons I mentioned above. You’d probably be amazed that Molly got out of bed this morning in the pouring rain and drove in to the city. He then walked a kilometre (amazing in itself, no?) in the rain to line up to run 5 kilometres. Yes. Run.
And run I did. It was pouring, belting down at times and the wind at the three k mark was like running in to a hurricane but I didn’t stop, I went faster. And I smiled all the way. My legs were killing me but the last k was just as fast as the first and according to the lovely lady who lives in my phone I ran that 5k faster than I ever have, smashed my aim of 26:00 and came in at 25:11 – 11 seconds shy of my ultimate dream. I’m not sure what my official time will be, the clock at the finishing line didn’t agree with Ms Endomondo, but I ran well, and I ran fast.
I don’t know what changed, I don’t know why I didn’t get it back then but if you read this and if you are still teaching (surely not) then just remember – that guy being picked last, that guy who can’t kick a footy to save himself, the guy who shrank every time he walked in the doors of the parish centre for gym; one day he may find he is actually good at something and a little encouragement from you now may help him avoid a 30 year wait to find out what that is.