May 21, 2012

Motivating Monday: Beginning


I’ve found that in running, I hate the first few steps.
My body hasn’t woken up yet from either a night of tossing and turning, or in the afternoon it hasn’t shifted from working and being sedentary for the day.
To be completely honest, I never want to start running.
Not on tempo runs. Not on speed work.
Not even on races.

But once I do start, I usually don’t want to finish.

I find this motivation 100% appropriate for today because today also marked my first day back at college.
I’m attending college again to complete my teaching certification, (I have an English degree that I suppose I’ll put to use) but for the program, I am technically considered an undergraduate.  

Just call me that fifth year senior.

I wanted to start this summer to get classes out of the way, and I actually like intensive work. It’s a whole lot of work in a short period of time, but I like condensing a semester down to four weeks. More freedom that way.
If it all goes well, meaning I pass and get all the classes I need to take, I’ll be student teaching by Fall 2013, and hopefully finding a job shortly after that.
It all seems fine and dandy and exciting, especially to a life-long learning nerd like me, but when I woke up this morning, I did not want to start school again.

I wasn’t ready to go back as an “undergrad.”
I wasn’t ready for this whole transitional phase where I’m not settled yet.
I wasn’t ready for nights of homework and less blogging.
I wasn’t ready to be one of the oldest people in the classroom.
But you know, it turns out I wasn’t.

I found out in my Ed Psych class today that the average age of the college student isn’t 19 like I thought, but 26.

So, older than me.

I guess it just means that there’s a whole lot of people out there not afraid to start something new again.

Why should I be any different? I mean, I hate taking those first few steps when running, but once I do, I feel great.
I feel strong.
I finished something.

My hope, with teaching, is to share my passion of children’s/young adult literature, with middle schoolers and teens. I want to inspire them to love reading, to be passionate about words, and to not be afraid to imagine and create. One of my favorite books is The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen (Probably because Macy is a runner!)
Macy, the protagonist, is dealing with the grief of losing her father, and over the course of the novel, comes to terms with who she is as a girl. Macy used to run with her dad, but she was the one who found him lying on the ground after he had a heart attack as she went to catch up with him on their morning run. Throughout the novel, Macy thinks a lot about her dad and the things he used to say to her. And it never fails that the same sort of line she remembers always comes to mind when I think about starting something new,

be it running

or training

or school.

You know the first few steps are the hardest part.

And in telling myself that so many times, I’ve learned that the other side of beginning never fails me.
The other side of beginning is beautiful.

Passing the Baton: What have you started lately that you were iffy about starting? Do you have trouble taking those first steps on a run? What’s your mantra to get your feet moving?
Seek Peace. Find Joy. Breathe Hope.