Thursday, October 2, 2014
Thursday, September 4, 2014
A short while ago, I wrote a blog about slowing down my life, and I mentioned in that blog that I had made the decision to leave education. I also mentioned that there were many reasons that ultimately I decided to make that choice. I never got around to writing about why I ultimately decided to leave the education field, but with school returning in the DC metro area last week and this week, I've been seeing a lot of links to articles about teachers. More importantly about good teachers and bad teachers and who is responsible for students' learning, and why we are failing our students. A lot of fingers are pointed at the teachers, and it is very frustrating to me. I would challenge anyone to step into the life of a teacher even for just one day before they start blaming them for the evils of the world. Teachers have so many things on their plates, that many people don't even realize how difficult it is to be a teacher. Instead it's just so much easier to blame them for everything that goes wrong with our schools, regardless of the fact that so much is out of their hands. I got so incensed by some of what I read, especially some of the comments, that I felt that it was time to blog about why I left. I know I don't have many readers, but if my ramblings can help people have a better understanding of what it's like to be in a school, and what it's like to go through this on a daily basis, then the time it takes me to write this will be well spent. Perhaps it will even help to shed a little light on things like teacher retention, and why it's so hard to keep people in this profession. There are many reasons that I left teaching, and if I listed every single one, this blog would be pages long. I'll try to give probably the most compelling reasons (at least for me).
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
If you've been a long time reader (truth I'm not sure those exist anymore after my long hiatus) you've probably noticed a little bit more of a serious tone on my blog for awhile. I'm not sure what happened exactly, but somewhere along the line, I think I may have grown up a bit. Is this what happens when you hit 30? Don't get me wrong, I still love glitter (ooh! Shiny things!), loud music, heavy weights over my head, and inventing my own words. But my desire to blog about shiny things every day has diminished, if that makes sense.
While I was on the bike tonight doing my "recovery" wod, I caught myself trying to pedal faster, and hurry up. Why? I have no flipping idea. The purpose was to ride slow, let my legs loosen up, get the lactic out. But no, next thing I knew, here we were. Going for a "for time" kind of bike ride. So you know what I did? I stopped. I stopped because I need to remind myself that this isn't how life is supposed to be. Life isn't a "for time" type of wod. I pulled off the trail, and looked around. And you know what I saw? Beauty. The sun was setting and filtering through the trees, which by the way did I mention that they were next to the Potomac? Rowers were out on the water, and a huge flock of Canadian Geese were busy eating and pooping on everything! (Ok, the pooping part isn't beautiful, but they totally were.) And of course, in the background were the monuments. With a small turn to my left or right, I was within plain sight of the Kennedy Center, the Lincoln Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, and also the Washington Monument. How can you not just stop and take pause when you realize the enormity of that? People travel thousands of miles to come see these historic landmarks, and here I am so worried about getting my bike ride in for time, that I miss it. I ignore it. Life is not a sprint. It's not a wod where you get a chance to hit it again another day. If you're like me, maybe you should join me in NOT living life "for time" and actively taking a moment to try to slow things down. In my opinion, which is of course ever so humble, there are many things in life that shouldn't be for time. I've made a small list, just in case you were curious ( :) ) about what I think is worth slowing down for. You may disagree, you may agree, or you may want to add on, so feel free to comment. The purpose of my blog, well there are many, but the main purpose is to share my experiences with others, in hopes that someone may learn from the path I've already taken. Take this list, and maybe revisit it from time to time, and try to find some time for you to slow down. Life is never "for time".
Friday, July 18, 2014
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
If you know anything about war, or even if you don't you can probably figure out, that fighting a war is hard. It's not pretty, there's a lot of pain, loss, suffering, and a lot of things that make you open your eyes and look at yourself and the world around you in a different light. Miltary strategy will tell you that it is best to fight a war while on the high ground, with good protection, lots of ammo, and only in one general area. It's also really helpful if that area has good exfil route just in case things start to go sideways.
Fighting a war in more than one area, however, will lessen your supplies and split your defenses. I'm a girl who loves analogies, so let me just say that this is what my life has been like for several months. I'm not fighting a war on a hill, with a bunch of hescos and anti-tank guns. Nope. I've been fighting on so many fronts, that my reserves are all but depleted, my ammo is all but gone, and I'm about to make the call to fix bayonets. If you get that military analogy, then you totally get it. If you're sitting here saying, what the ef is she talking about.... allow me to explain. When you run out of ammo, and you're about to be overrun, the last thing you can do is fight your enemy hand to hand. Fix bayonets was always the last call when the enemy was within fighting space. Granted, that is an antiquated analogy, but still, you get the point. The enemy has been in my face for the last few months, and he is coming from all sides.
When I first started this blog, I was so excited. I loved CrossFit, I wanted to spread the word, and I wanted to get out there and be all the CrossFit I could be. I was determined to be, as someone once said, "the poster child" for CrossFit. I zoned (yeah for those of you who have been around long enough, remember when CrossFit preached the Zone? Yeah, I do too.) hardcore and lost 20 pounds. I ran marathons, I began to compete in CrossFit, and then life smacked me in the face. My job got demanding, I worked more at my second job, I've gone further into debt instead of further out, and the happy CrossFit feelings just weren't there anymore. Those fun blogs that I loved writing just weren't coming. And truth is, they're still not. But.... the good news is, I'm getting there.
I'm a perfectionist. I am, and it's been one of my biggest downfalls of my adult life. I'm so driven and so determined to do everything and to do it really well that it causes problems. As life has put me through the paces, I've never allowed myself any slack. I've expected the same out of myself at CrossFit and everywhere else. And this year, more than any other year, as I approach my six year anniversary with CrossFit, I feel it. I feel as if my nutrition has been so terrible, I don't even want to admit what I've been eating. My sleep cycle has been atrocious. I've been working upwards of 10-15 hours everyday, and I have completely lost sight of the important things.
At 31, I have had to have some long hard looks at what is going on with me. In the past nine months, I have had a shoulder injury that prevented me from going overhead for two months, I had a relatively invasive mouth surgery that left me out of the box for nearly 2 weeks, I had another health situation which sidelined me for another almost 2 full weeks, one of my best friends stopped speaking to me for reasons still unknown to me, and I gained nearly 15 pounds. All of that has taken a toll. It has felt like I'm out of ammo, and I've been fighting an enemy that is EVERYWHERE.
That's a lot. I didn't want to write about that. I didn't want to share that. That's not happy. It's not upbeat. And it certainly isn't something that I'm proud of. But I've really had to sit and talk with myself and say that this has to change. I've got to do something about what I'm doing to myself or I'm not going to be able to keep CrossFitting or being a normal, sane human being. (normal for ME anyway.... :P) So, at 31, I finally have admitted that it's ok to ask for help. I've been regularly seeing a chriopractor to help keep my stuff in line. I've begun seeing a nutritionist who is helping me to (once and for all) beat the addiction I have to sugar. I've had to cut back (sometimes) at the restaurant in order to keep my sanity, and I have really had to give a hard look at my interactions with other people. Somewhere along the line, I stopped being a good friend. I forgot that in order to have a friend, you must be a friend. And truthfully, while I may feel as if I am ready to find someone, and not necessarily get married, but start spending some QT with them, I have to acknowledge that my schedule and where I have been mentally, makes that a challenge. I met someone who I do really enjoy.... the only problem is.... he doesn't feel the same.... and even if he did, Hawaii is a long way from DC. But, I'm still hopeful that someday that ship is going to come in for me. I know that somewhere in me, there is a fun, outgoing, and very caring person. She's gotten lost. And I feel as if for the past 2 years, I've really been trying to find her. It feels like right now, after bottoming out so to speak, this is the closest I have been to finding her in a long time. I have had to cut myself some slack. I've had to admit that I need help juggling everything. I've had to admit that I may not be able to compete at CrossFit. I have had to admit that sometimes, three days a week is all I can give. And the most important part of all of that is realizing that it really is OK.
CrossFit teaches us to be hard on ourselves. To always push for more, and always work harder to get to that next level, but recently Jon Gilson wrote this fabulous article about setting realistic goals and not piling things onto ourselves too quickly. In my life, I have never agreed with something more. I'm getting the help that I need from my fantabulous team of people who are working to help put me back together again.... and once I'm there.... the sky really is the limit. I just need to keep fighting.
Sunday, April 7, 2013
I can't say I'm pleased with the Open. I never am. I don't do well over a long period of time like this. For someone like me who routinely works long days, trying to stay up and competitive over a period of five weeks is hard. I don't want to make excuses, but it is. I am someone who is convinced that I CAN do it all. I can teach, serve, compete at CrossFit, volunteer with my group, and sing in my choir. I'm hard. I'm not easy. I'm complex and complicated but I still want to be able to do everything at 100%. Is that feasible? Some would say no. I say yes. But it makes me a challenging athlete to coach. It makes it hard to help me help myself. But regardless of my circumstances over the past several months leading up to the Open, it is what it is and the scores are final. A final look at the standings shows that out of 2365 women who completed all of the wods, I am 479. Last year there were only 1300 women who competed in the Mid Atlantic region. This year, that number nearly doubled, and I'm still well within the top half of that number. I guess I should be happy with that.... but a perfectionist like me is not ever satisfied..... Now it's on to the next one.... we'll see what that will be.