Yesterday, my younger son, Zach, had an allergic reaction to medication he was taking and ended up in the doctor’s office with hives. As we sat for about 45 minutes in the doctor’s office (it was a Saturday, so I guess it was to be expected), we looked at pictures and videos on my phone that I had taken over the course of our two week Christmas break. We both enjoyed looking at the pictures from the orchestra, my birthday, Christmas, a ski trip, New Year’s and any other random snapshots that I managed to get! Today, that look back has really made me reflect on the year that just passed.
The Looking Glass of Facebook
After Zach and I returned home from the doctor’s, I decided to do my own look back at the past year and I turned to Facebook. Why not? All of my most important and favorite pictures are there! Even my boys like to look on Facebook to “like” a photo of one of their friends. So, I looked back and my posts and my photos of 2015.
This is a photo of me. I exercise daily and often (at least 4 times per week) wake up between 4:30 and 5:30 a.m. to do this. Why? I really don’t know what motivates me. But, as I look at this picture of me, I am amazed that I am looking at myself. As a child, I was the last picked to join the kickball team, the last runner on the cross country trail and the least likely to succeed in any sport. But, here I am, waking up like a crazy person to get out there and get my workout in.
So, what happened and why the change? I was forced to take gym in college to graduate. I took ballroom dancing, skiing and then, during the first semester of my senior year, I still had two gym credits left to take. I needed an easy class, so I took walking. Yes, there was a class called walking – well, I am sure that it had another name, but that is what my friend Jill and I called it. So, we took walking together and it was fun! We walked and we talked. I should have realized it then, but didn’t. I thrive on social fitness.
As I look at the picture above, I think about how my social fitness has truly impacted my life – both personal and professional. I workout with Beth Anne of RALABALA, who is amazing and encouraging and tough, all at the same time. There is an incredible group of women who work out together, and we hold each other accountable. Beth Anne always tells us that she coaches us on “functional fitness”. I didn’t realize what that meant until I had to carry a sleeping Zach from the Magic Kingdom to our nearby hotel this summer in 95° heat and humidity. For me, these workouts go beyond social and functional fitness.
Lesson Learned – Persevere
Beth Anne’s workouts are ridiculously difficult. On New Year’s Day, I almost gave up, but something inside of me told me to keep going through that 2nd set of 90 seconds of hand release push ups. Tomorrow morning, when I wake up at 5 a.m. to go do my workout, I will workout and know that I can tackle anything in my day after the insanity of 6 a.m. – 7 a.m. All it takes is some persistence and telling yourself that nothing is impossible.
When I head into work tomorrow, I know that I will hear “I can’t…I don’t have time…That won’t work…” And, I am not a classroom teacher, I am a coach. (Or, in my district, my title is Curriculum Facilitator). So, these comments are coming from my colleagues, not from students. What I do on a day-to-day basis is not unlike Beth Anne. I encourage people, and convince them to persist and persevere through the difficult part of their day. In my case, I help teachers integrate technology into their classroom instruction and for many teachers, this is incredibly challenging. I know, wholeheartedly, that if they can persevere, the rewards will be plentiful.
As Beth Anne, so eloquently posted in my favorite Facebook post of 2015, “Push past comfortable, get stronger, it is in you! I love seeing the change in people when they realize they CAN do something.” So, bring on 2016, and realize that you CAN do something.