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Cacique Update March 22, 2011

March 22, 2011

“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.




10 Comments leave one →
  1. Hunter Foote permalink
    March 22, 2011 3:22 pm

    APPRECIATE THE COLD! It’ll be getting hot there soon! 🙂

  2. Gayle VanGessel permalink
    March 23, 2011 9:54 pm

    After all the detentions you got for being late to school last semester, I can’t believe I’m reading that you are learning to love your morning workouts, Tony. I’m going to tell your computer apps teacher. Sounds brutal but kind of great at the same time. I think about what you all have probably accomplished by the time I’m having my first cup of coffee and emptying the dishwasher and it makes me smile. Hard is good.

  3. Gabe VanGessel permalink
    March 23, 2011 10:12 pm

    You better enjoy your mornings, if you didn’t realize it already your in the Bahamas! But it sounds amazing glad your having a good time. I miss you alot and the worse thing about having you gone besides having to deal our family without backup is your friends asking to come over everyday after school….

  4. mary anker permalink
    March 26, 2011 7:34 pm

    Way to go Eliza! You make us proud of you for embracing the mental, emotional, and physical stretching that morning exercise demands. And then there’s the view. 🙂

    I feel lucky to be able to picture exactly where you are. I’m sure you are keeping a journal. Can’t wait to hear your stories. Maybe you’ll come talk to the Middle School.

  5. Cam Carter permalink
    March 27, 2011 4:14 pm

    Hi Liza! That’s so exciting that you went to bridge jumping. I just finished writing you a letter and I’m considering writing you another now that I’ve read this. It sounds like you’re having tons of fun. It also sounds like you’re going to be a super athlete when you get home.
    Miss you tons!

  6. Amelia Hazen (older sister) permalink
    March 27, 2011 4:39 pm

    Wow Eliza! So in-depth! I’m glad you can relate your “sending school”‘s values with experiences as radical as jumping off bridges. We were all very proud to read that. I’m glad you’ve finally made friends with your personal enemy – getting up in the morning!!!! You sound WAY peppier than you ever did in our room at home. Did you yell at your councilors the first morning? Do they know what they have gotten themselves into? Anyways, you seem very… inspired. Have more fun! I haven’t taken any of your stuff! Yet.

    Love, Amelia.
    P.S. Mariah and Craig say hi.

  7. Jeff Hazen (Dad) permalink
    March 28, 2011 1:42 pm

    Go Eliza! You’ll be happy to know the Rt 103 bridge is back – bigger and badder than ever…. Like Amelia, I really can’t imagine your new morning experience. Maybe you can teach your sisters when you get back – like I can SOOO imagine Amelia getting up and doing a run/swim at 6:30AM!! Look forward to seeing you in May – I’m running again too – maybe you can show me around?

    Love you! Dad.

  8. Maddy Keefe permalink
    March 29, 2011 4:21 pm

    Eliza Hazen I miss you so much! This blog is like the coolest thing ever and I liked your post… haha. Cam and I think that you are really intense with all of your wall scaling and bridge jumping. (We need to do that this summer!) It sounds like you are having an amazing time and have made friends! I’m so proud! haha just kidding I knew you would. I’m considering writing you letters in French so you start doing your work! You have to take that final when you come back… 🙂 just reminding you! Love you and miss you so much!
    – Maddy

  9. Theo Bullock (bestes boyfriend eveerrrr!) permalink
    March 29, 2011 5:46 pm

    Hey Liza. It’s great to hear that you are havinng a great time, wow mornings, I won’t believe it until I see it:) Really glad to hear that you went bridge jumping in March. Normally you would get hercules points for that but considering the water is probably nowhere near cold I think we can make an exception. Glad to hear you’re having fun! Keep kicking butt!
    ALL of my love,

  10. Abbie Davies permalink
    April 1, 2011 6:40 pm

    ELIZA…. it sounds like you are having an absolute blast!!! I am so excited for you! Yay for 7am swims! Keep up the good work! 🙂

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