Monday, September 26, 2011

Clearing Cobwebs

As we tiptoe up on October, I'm trying to shake my brain free of all the cobwebs that built up over the last year. I still remember the weather early October of last year. It was bright sunshine, blue skies, and warm. It never seemed to make sense to me that the weather was so beautiful while a storm was raging inside my head.

I suppose that's a blog post for another day, though, because I can't quite think of that anniversary yet. Instead, all I can think about is how my mind is finally clearing. I never, ever gave less than 100% in the classroom last year, but it was hard. 8th graders aren't known for empathy, so when I came back from a week of hospital visits, tests, and no real answers, one said "We thought you got fired." Another said, "Finally, you're back. What'd you do, go on vacation?" And my personal favorite, "We thought you were gone because you killed yourself." I know that 8th graders are tactless and I'm pretty good at reminding myself that their cognitive reasoning skills haven't fully developed yet, but to my heart that was already broken in so many ways, each of these hurt and irritated an already so fresh wound. So I had a school year where I gave my all in the classroom but hardly had a relationship with my students. I hated it.

This year is already better. I'm redoing my short story unit plans in a way that is tedious for me but is very beneficial to my students, especially those who struggle with reading. It's been good to see the lower readers really grasp the concept of a story. And yes, it's been good to form relationships with the kids and know that they'll last.

I'm shaking off things in other ways, too. I've been struggling with running lately, but finally, this last week, I felt myself getting stronger. It's been so long since I've had that feeling that I embraced it cautiously. When I set out for a run yesterday, I told myself I had to go two miles without stopping. I made two miles and felt fine, even after conquering a big hill. I told myself I'd run until I reached the main road, then I could stop if I wanted. I reached the main road and didn't need to stop. I kept going until just after mile three when I had a nasty cramp in my leg. I stopped for less than a minute to stretch and shake it out and thought, "This is it. I'll end up mostly walking from here on out." Except that I didn't. I took a new route and enjoyed the sights. Before I knew it, I was at four miles and didn't need to stop. I felt strong and for the first time in a long time, I thought, "10k? I can totally do a 10k!" I pushed myself to a faster pace for the last half mile and ended at five miles out of breath but smiling. Running is so mental. I knew I could go five miles without doing intervals, I just needed to clear the cobwebs and forge the connection between my mind and my body.

This October is going to be good. I can feel it.

12 comments:

Cameron said...

Hooray for clearing cobwebs and feeling stronger. And hooray for a great October! xoxo

Adventures In Babywearing said...

Good good good. Yes! I had a feeling. This is your time.

Steph

Adam said...

Hmm. I'm not sure. I think it just might be great.

Julie said...

Heck yeah it's going to be good! We already have plans to see each other twice and I have a recipe for pumpkin cupcakes with spiced custard icing.

Kirsten said...

I'm glad you had a great run and that it's helping the cobwebs. ((hugs)) friend

Elaine A. said...

I smiled SO big at the end of this post. I wish you could have seen it. :D

And yes, I REALLY wish we could run together. xo

E said...

Erin, I am proud of you. Great job with the new October point of view.

quicklikeabunny said...

perfect time for a fresh perspective. :) Good for you!!

Courtney said...

clearing cowebs is always a wonderful feeling and I think October will be great for you! I hope that when my kids have teachers in the future, they have the drive you have.

You can TOTALLY do a 10k!! I never thought I could run any distance and I didnt a 15k last week and love dit! So crazy how our bodies can totally get into it once we get over that mental hump!

Foursons said...

I'm glad you're having a better school year and are back on track with your running. I too have found that if I give myself a reason to quit if I complete a certain goal that I usually surpass my goal.

I had to change the URL to my blog. It is now www.myfoursons.com instead of .net. Long story. I'll share soon on my blog.

Angi said...

I love this. AWESOME!

Foursons said...

*sigh* Make that myfourboys.com