“Good Morning!” By Caciques Eliza Hazen and Tony VanGessel

Waking up this morning was one of the hardest things I have done as a student here at The Island School. As Cacique I had to wake up at 6:15, which is ten minutes earlier than usual; we typically have to arrive at morning circle at 630, but this morning, I had to raise the flag at 6:20. As you can tell, there is not a lot of preparation that goes into arriving at morning circle, especially in the boys dorm. Eight different alarms go off at around 6:20, someone inevitably yells "shut that thing off", and no one gets out of bed until 5 minutes after that. Then they rush out of bed, throw some shorts and a shirt on and run out to circle to avoid doing pushups.

Now I did not want to get up this morning, the wind was blowing incredibly hard, and it was extremely cold (65 degrees). However I did, and I am very glad I did so. Even though it was midnight black and we had to embark on a run-swim, I began to enjoy my morning. I watched the sun come up right after circle and chores, and it began to warm up as we began our run-swim. I was really tired after the poor night of sleep I received for some reason, however the crisp, refreshing water woke me up quick enough. And the lackadaisical attitude I had before swimming sprinted out of my mind as we began to work out. I am growing to love working out in the morning. Not at the start, mind you, but once my mind gets into it I like it more and more right up until I am really tired, then it concludes and we get to shower and eat. The difficulty of the morning exercises provides me with more energy than I would normally have for a day and it makes me feel accomplished and healthy.


The run-swim: it inspires fear and adrenaline and 7 am.  After working all hard to complete the runs and survive the swims the calisthenics waiting for us were painful.  This run swim was particularly long because not only were we scaling the sea wall at the marina but also scampering down it on the other side and running extra legs around the marina.  As fatigue approached us my run swim buddy Bronte and I approached the small foot bridge crossing the current cut expecting to continue running without rest.  To my surprise Justin stopped us and explained that two by two we would jump off the bridge and swim, with the current, down the cut.  This brought memories of summer in Maine rushing back; the magic and love that came along with jumping off bridges.

Other pairs had already made it into the water and our time was approaching.  Almost falling over the railing trying to get on the edge inspired a little more fear in to the early morning sunrise.  We gripped hands, looked down, counted to three, and leapt forward.  At my sending school one of our values is stretching through engagement, essentially pushing yourself in a hands on, active way.  Here at the Island School I think this represents overcoming obstacles, physically the bridge but also the mental obstacle of running at 7am and jumping off high places.  As soon as we entered the water, we laughed and enjoyed a free ride to the end of the cut.  This humor and enjoyment assisted us in the survival of this morning’s, morning exercise.