(Posted Aug. 2, 2018)
By Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer
The coach punched the air in front of him and challenged his charges to do the same.
“Do as I do!” he shouted, and the kids followed suit.
Then he mixed it up and shouted, “Do as I say!” and again they followed.
Then he really became mixed things up when he shouted one command and did another. The kids became confused trying to keep up, dropped out and began laughing.
“That’s all right,” said Khadevis Robinson, 42, head cross country coach and assistant track and field coach at The Ohio State University. He had stopped by the West Jefferson Community Center on July 19 for the popular Lunch & Learn program.
The activity got the children moving–and laughing–immediately following their lunch.
Robinson not only brings his coaching and running experience with him to personal appearances, but he also shares his personal story centered around the theme of “Don’t Quit.”
Robinson grew up in Texas with a mother and stepdad in the house and a father living close by.
“I thought I was just a regular kid,” he said of having all of his family members so close. “I learned to follow instructions if I wanted to be on top.”
And to the top he went. Robinson went to Texas Christian University where, when he wasn’t running, he was working toward a bachelor’s degree in social work. He went on to get his master’s degree in public administration. Along the way, he made it to two Olympic Games for Team USA–Athens in 2004 and London in 2012.
One thing Robinson said he learned was not to quit. That’s one thing his runners will hear from him as they prepare for this fall’s cross country season, and it’s something he told the children in attendance at the Lunch & Learn.
“Get yourself a plan. Listen to your coach. Practice. Follow your plan. And don’t quit,” he said.
West Jefferson’s Lunch & Learn program features activities designed to motivate and inspire children. Funded by a grant from Battelle, it runs through Aug. 16. For details, contact Marci Darlington, parks and recreation director, at (740) 490-8317