March and April theme: Focus

As I mentioned, I’ve moved past the (f)Unemployment phase – at least for now – and am working at a charter school in Boulder through the end of the school year.  While it isn’t the *ideal* job in some ways, in other ways, I was very lucky.  It was a maternity leave position that was posted in January, I interviewed for it, and then started in March.  It’s been an interesting experience.  First of all, working as a sub is a challenge, even as a long-term sub, and coming in at the middle (or almost end) of the year compounds that.  However, it was also a good transition for me – I met with the teacher who was leaving multiple times to learn about the students and the curriculum and was able to sit in on her classes for a few days.  Also, while I am *just a sub*, the school community (teachers and administrators) have given me a nice welcome, and although I don’t feel 100% a part of the community, I feel fortunate to be as integrated as I am.  

The challenge part has come in the form of teaching a different grade level – Middle School!  Whoa, 6th graders are so different, and I am learning a TON about teaching a different level, but I still have much to learn.  It’s an adjustment for me, and it’s probably hard for the kiddos, and I continue to adjust my expectations about what they can do and how they learn.  Some of the students are super motivated and mature, and others… are not.  This experience did, I think, help me land a 2016-2017 position at another school – so, for the moment, I have moved to the middle school landscape.  A part of me knows that I would like to teach high school long-term, but for now, I’m looking at middle school as a new experience and as a way to become a better teacher.  How is that for framing things in a positive spin?

So, what does all this have to do with the theme of focus?  Well, it seems that after January and February, I finally brought some focus and schedule to my life which felt great.  This theme extended past the job/employment front to TRAINING!  Yes, I used to do things like triathlon, way back in 2015, and I returned to the training wagon.  I hoped that March would be THE RETURN, that I would hit my stride and be fully committed to training.  While I had some good weeks (or one good week):

Screen shot 2016-04-03 at 9.48.52 AM
I said a “good” week, not perfect!

I also had a few weeks that were disasters:

Screen shot 2016-04-03 at 9.52.14 AM

I think I skied quite a bit that weekend, and I was in a total funk mentally and emotionally.

It’s funny, I thought that not having as much responsibility job-wise, I would dive right into triathlon training with vigor! and determination!  And other great aspirations!  Not so.  I discovered, not so surprisingly, that triathlon is a great complement to my life, but when other parts of my life are out-of-whack, then my training suffers – or just goes right out the window.  I just can’t focus on it.  At a certain point, during one of my many cry sessions with Michael (that man deserves a medal for putting up with me this past month), I talked about how I should just quit training altogether.  He became rather alarmed (probably thinking that THAT would be a total disaster) and insisted that no, I really needed this.  When I was really down, I kept thinking: “I’m not doing anything, I’m not in shape, I probably won’t finish any race this spring/summer, I should just quit because I’m wasting my time and Beth’s time”.  This thought made me feel about 100 times better.  Not.

The other not-so-surprising thing happened when I locked in next year’s teaching position.  I went from down-in-the-dumps and questioning everything and completely scattered to a much more positive and *settled* individual.  Things still aren’t perfect (again, middle school Spanish is not my ‘ideal’), but I’m excited to be a part of a great school community and that has stabilized my free-fall.

I’m feeling a renewed commitment to training, and, looking back on recent run and bike sessions, I don’t think that I should totally write off the season at this point.  I know that I’m not where I was last year, but I shouldn’t be – I had a tremendous off-season that I enjoyed.  However, there are positive signs – riding the bike isn’t nearly as painful as it was when I returned to the saddle in February (and I could barely stay on the tri bike! No joke).  March has been a bit inconsistent for riding outside (springtime in Colorado = crazy weather!), but I can’t complain about the rides I’ve been able to put in.  And I don’t feel very fast on the run, but I think that the fitness base is there.  Swimming is my bete noire at this point – I have a terrible attitude and haven’t really committed to it, but I still have 2.5 months to get to where I need to be.  And I will give myself points for swimming outside this past week while it SNOWED ON ME.  That’s a first.

So, I’m finding that focus – it’s taken some time, and there is much improvement that I can and need to make, but I don’t feel like throwing a pity party for myself about my fitness or my life in general.  This afternoon, I’m heading out for a longish bike ride, and this is after skiing yesterday morning followed up by a long run in the afternoon.  My legs feel trashed but in a good way.  Maybe this is progress?

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2 thoughts on “March and April theme: Focus

  1. I don’t see why that second screenshot is a “bad” week – is it because you didn’t have enough of each discipline or what? I think there is something “bad” about the first week – no rest day!

    It makes sense that you can’t keep your training on track when the rest of your life is not on track. Even though you moved last year, you are still getting used to the area and your new job (congrats on securing next year’s work). And really… why would training be easy after all that time off in Europe? You’re basically starting over, with a strong healthy base. Be kind to you 🙂 You’ll get back to the groove!

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  2. Kim – The ‘bad’ week is thus so (although thanks for calling me out on such black/white thinking) because of the red boxes which mean that I totally skipped 3 workouts. Disaster! End of the world! Ha ha – it really isn’t either! As for the ‘good’ week, I’m definitely integrating rest days into the weeks now. It’s funny because they are mental as much as they are physical, and I just need that sense of not *having* something to do.
    I’m definitely cutting myself some – or a lot of – slack these days, and it’s a lot healthier. I tend to have a black or white attitude (see above) about a “good” vs. “bad” week (and obviously I should have clarified why one was ‘good’ and the other ‘bad’), but I’m trying to embrace the process rather than seeing each workout as a product that gets a grade.

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