Saturday, June 21, 2014

Take Time to Be Inspired: #SHARESOMETHINGINSPIRING Challenge With Lorna Jane and Sweat Pink Recap

Let's all make a giant leap together into my #Sharesomethinginspiring Challenge Recap.

This challenge started back in May, when school was still in session and my body, brain, and spirit were seriously craving some healing.  I love my job, but it can get intense and overwhelming at times, and the end of the year is challenging on so many levels. I'm preparing to say goodbye to students. I'm anxious for personal time, and I'm always overplanning and getting ready to do all the things.  All the things this year included figuring out this whole Twitter thing (@runningmamalion). This challenge came at just the right time for me.

At the start of this challenge, I was feeling sentimental and was most inspired by my students - they helped me come to some pretty sharp conclusions about the importance of modeling health and wellness.

May 22: 47 8th graders ran 5k today, finishing together.
One boy in particular, a young man I'd worked with all year to become a better version of himself, ran the 5K in about 16 minutes, then went out and ran two extra laps with a young man just barely edging into the "fast" ranking in "there is no low, only fast, faster, fastest."  One final student, who swore she couldn't do it, finally came into the home stretch, and about twenty students ran out to run with her.  Everyone cheered. They really finished together, and their enthusiasm gave me a much needed energy boost.

May 27: My 5K runners wore their laces today. So proud of these kids!

I gave each student a pair of sweat pink laces, and I saw them all over campus in the last two weeks of school. Those bright laces meant something to my students, and it meant something to me that they wore them.

May 29:  "You're my mom hero," my student said. "You are healthy and you love your son."
A favorite student (yes, teachers have them), who I had the pleasure to teach in two different classes this year, saw something in me that is sometimes a struggle to see in myself. She saw that health and fitness don't have to go away when women become parents. And I saw that what I do with my personal life matters to my students.  

June arrived, and with it, this.

Mother. Wife. Daughter. Friend. Runner. Photographer. Writer. Teacher.

I had room, at last, to breathe, and to think about what it meant to be me right now, right at this moment in time.  With a little time for reflection, I realized I wanted to find inspiration and share it, rather than simply talk about myself.

June 2: There are years that ask questions and years that answer - Zora Neale Hurston
June 3: Track workout tonight..mind over matter

The days passed, and I began to train for my races. Speed work. Hills. The works.  I'm not pro, but I go hard in the summer, and this year, it started to sink in that it matters.

June 14: How can I give up when my toddler is waiting to cross the finish with me?
June 15: My daddy started running with me and lost 30+ pounds.

My dad inspired me to be fit when I was younger, and he's showing me that it's never too late to make a change.  My son will see that his mommy cares about herself and about staying healthy enough to enjoy playing with him.  My dad and my son were at the finish line. My son ran across with me, shouting, "Go, Mommy, go!"  Forget PRs (though those are pretty sweet).  That sweet little boy was all the reward I needed.

The challenge is winding down, and I feel like I've gotten a lot of it, as a runner and as a writer. I've enjoyed seeing what others find inspiring. I've enjoyed learning what it means to be part of one of these: #.

June 20: Summer (no school )is a fresh start to training - time for reflection and goals!

But really?  This whole challenge has encouraged those moments for reflection, those moments to find the Ryan Gosling meme that will get me through the race, and the moments to realize that not only is the "can't" voice in my head a liar but that fear is a lie, too.

June 21: I want to run like my son. When he falls, he gets up, shakes it off, and keeps running.

Keep. Running.

That's what I'll do.

Thank you, Lorna Jane and Sweat Pink, for inspiring me to reflect and realize that's the best answer:

Keep running.

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