“I can’t run a 5k…I just can’t,” exclaimed Alex Pepino, a rising junior from Oceanside, NY. Certainly, this was not the first time I heard these words. The daunting 5k race the August Orientation tackled this morning was quite the challenge, particularly for Alex. During our school meeting on Thursday, we used Professor Randy Pausch’s “Last Lecture” as an instrument to talk about a number of different things quite prevalent at Hyde. The part of Randy’s talk that Alex bucked against was Randy’s relationship with his high school football coach, Coach Graham. Randy described his coach as a hard-nosed, “old school” kind of coach that rode him all day every day. Randy concluded that the more Coach Graham got on him, the more he cared and the better Randy got.
Always one to offer a dissenting opinion, Alex chimed in and proclaimed, “I know my limits and I’m the only one who can test them. There has never been a Coach Graham in my life and there never will be.” Despite pushing back on his emphatic statement, he stuck by his guns. This morning, however, Alex did test his limits this morning when he did, in fact, complete the 5 k that he “couldn’t do.” While Alex wasn’t necessarily excited about the run, he felt quite accomplished at the end. With over fifty of his newest, closest friends running alongside him, how could he not run? Never underestimate the power of a positive peer culture.