Saturday, December 31, 2011

Moving Forward, Moving On--Bring on 2012!

I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year's. I've been a little envious reading some of your 2011 re-caps, filled with joyous race reports and smiling photos. I don't really have anything of note to mention for 2011. To be honest, it was a crappy year. Unemployment, failed relationships, and depression is what comes to mind, along with being laid up for a big chunk due to a lame foot injury. So I'm not going to do a re-cap because it's not something I want to focus on. The best parts of 2011? I got an awesome job the week of my birthday as a math/science high school teacher. Happy Birthday to me! And I learned how to mountain bike--even some of the scary, technical stuff. So I'm thankful for that.

One of the benefits to a crappy year ending is that it fills me with hope for a positive change. I'm looking forward to a much happier 2012. So this New Year couldn't come at a better time. I love the infectious motivation available to prod me off the couch and into action. I love my new job and am enjoying this new time in my life to focus on myself for the first time. I'm getting more comfortable in my skin and more excited about pursuing my personal goals. I have an Ironman to look forward to! I am currently working on my training plan for the year and am more excited than I have been in a long time.

As I said in my last post, my New Year's Resolution for 2012 can be encompassed in one word: Balance. This includes pacing myself, not working too hard, eating healthy, sleeping healthy, exercising regularly, and being better about self-monitoring my energy levels so I don't drain myself out (a bad habit I have). I've been using the past few days to implement my new plan. Little by little, it's going very well. It's amazing how little changes can make big differences in my mood!

These past two weeks, I've been on break. I've been so depleted from my new job that the break was a mixed blessing. I loved the opportunity to rest and relax but it came at the cost of depression. I was just too exhausted. Plus the holidays always make me a little blue. I always feel pressured to feel "happy" and ironically, this triggers a bad mood. However, the past few days have seen a change in the mood barometer, and things are looking up. I'm feeling better and better and able to be more pro-active about self-care.

I went for a run this morning with Travis. It was the first time in a week. My exercise has been so inconsistent, which I'm sure has contributed to my bad mood. My feet were heavy and awkward, my left foot continuously banging on my right ankle. I was slow, my breathing was labored, and I kept having to stop and wait for Travis to sniff and pee every 10 feet or so. The flabby, unused muscles in my legs ached and burned. Despite these discomforts, I felt something I had forgotten; something I hadn't felt in awhile: peace. My mind became still and my vision softened; I was exactly at the right place at the right time. I was living in the moment. And yet again, no matter how many times I forget, I remember why I run. Running is an act of meditation.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Checking In

I know it's been awhile. To be honest, I've been going through a difficult time. Lots of transitions. My new job has swallowed me whole. I absolutely love being a teacher but these last 6 weeks haven't even given me time to breathe. I wake up at 6, drive 45 minutes each way, and work from 8:30 to 6 straight with only a 30 minute break. I have 8 different classes a day so when I get done, I'm often swamped until midnight preparing lesson plans for the next day. Not to mention grading and paperwork. On the other hand, getting to know each of my students individually and feeling like I'm making a difference has been awesome. Not to mention how smart I feel after teaching everything from pre-calculus to chemistry! But I know if I don't take care of myself, this pace will not be sustainable.

I'm currently enjoying my 2 weeks of winter break. I was planning on getting caught up on all sorts of exercise and catch-up activities. Except for painting some new art, I've been doing not much more than catching up on sleep. It's been weeks since I've gotten in a decent work-out. I've simply felt exhausted. This is going to change. After all, I have an Ironman I'm signed up for!

My New Years' Resolution is simple: Balance. It's all about balance. Taking care of myself. I am going to eat healthy (no skipping meals!), sleep 8 hours a day, and exercise daily. I'm going to revamp my training plan so it's hanging on my tried-and-true Excel spreadsheet above my bed, OCD-style. I'm going to sign up for lots of fun races. I'm not going to let my life be dominated by any one thing anymore, whether it's a relationship or work. It's all about balance.