When I am not triathloning, I teach science to 2nd and 3rd graders. When these young scientists enter my laboratory, I sing the first verse of "Mr. Maxim's Greeting Song" as they quietly find their seats. After my verse, these scientists collectively sing the second verse.

Good morning boys and girls!
Mr. Maxim's here.
I ask you to be quiet,
and lend me your ears.
For I love science,
And I am smart!
After you sing your happy verse,
I can't wait for class to start!

Good morning Mr. Maxim
Your students are here.
We are so very happy,
To learn from you this year!
And we work hard!
We love to learn!
For my science knowledge,
We truly yearn!
So let's begin class right now!

Everyday, I encourage these scientists to share their "loud proud voices". "You may not be the 'best singer,'" I tell them, "But only you have your unique voice. Share it as proudly and as confidently as you can!"

In one of my classes, all the scientists have sang quietly and shyly since the beginning of the year. For 6 months I have encouraged them to sing proudly, and for six months they have sung meekly. This past Monday, one young boy came in and BELTED out his verse with unabashed enthusiasm. Out fo nowhere, he sang as if he were in the finals of American Idol.

At first, a few scientists looked around with confused looks. After about two lines, other scientists slowly began to sing more proudly and more loudly. By the end of their verse, this entire class was singing with newfound enthusiasm.

I don't know what made this boy sing with so much confidence, but he did. Others looked to mock him for showing his unique voice. Then, when they saw that he was having fun, they joined in! Soon, everyone realized that they could sing with proud enthusiasm, and they could have fun!
As a triathlete, there are people who look to question my lifestyle. Running and biking and swimming all day, drinking GU flasks full of honey, waking in the wee-hours of the morning, biking for 6 hours at a time. These things are unique, weird. But it's who I am. I do what I do with as much pride, confidence, and enthusiasm as I do, because I am a triathlete. To participate meekly in the sport I love would be dishonest.

That boy shared his loud, proud voice. I, too, share my unique voice with the world. Maybe I'll be mocked. But, I bet soon enough, others will see that I am having fun, and they'll start to join in.


Libby Maxim said... @ January 29, 2008 at 1:34 PM



darcykaat said... @ January 29, 2008 at 1:48 PM

Late entry for the name the bike contest:

Frey Ride

There are lyrics to this one, come on and take a free(y) ride, yeah, yeah, yeah.

i am singing loudly.....

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