For many P.E. teachers, physical education is just a job. They go in each day and teach kids about healthy habits without necessarily exemplifying those habits in their own lives. Kids in turn can see this and, as a result, may not incorporate the things they are learning in the gymnasium into the rest of their lives. This is not the case in the classroom of Vin Miserandino, P.E. teacher and competitive triathaloner who won the Call to Honor Triathlon this year held in the memory of Massachusetts State Trooper Rick Cashin.
While he is competing, Miserandino sticks to his principles. He faces down adversity every time he begins a triathlon, which have included several Ironman triathlons, one of which landed him in the top 50 of his 300-person division. Running a triathlon requires that Miserandino stay in peak condition to handle the grueling 112-mile bike, marathon run, and 2.4-mile swim. The Call to Honor Triathlon in Massachusetts was just a warm up for Miserandino, with only a 1.5-mile run, 10-mile bike, and quarter mile swim.
He puts himself and his principles to the test every time he competes, and he takes that lesson to his classroom.
“It’s not just about showing them pro triathletes, but also the working people who have jobs and families, and the adversity they go through to train and finish an Ironman,” said Miserandino. He provides opportunities for his students to look at athletics as a part of everyday life, as well as an athletic career. Miserandino does this by asking his students to question the foundations of their goals and to set their own.
Whether a student intends to compete in high school and college sports or simply wants to build healthy habits, setting their own goals and finding their own motivation is important for being successful in their athletic endeavors and in the rest of their lives. Miserandino’s example is an inspiring one that will hopefully lead many of his students to balanced and healthy lives.