It is a two prong thought, both stemming from the realities of the day.
For the past two days, while Darco has been out of the country, I’ve been attending a series of classes for educators within our district. Some of the classes have been great, some of them…not so much. It was during my first class this morning, I was sitting across from my mentor teacher assigned to me from our school, and I confessed that I was nervous about the beginning of the school year. I felt that I wasn’t prepared, I wasn’t sure what I was doing, and it was kind of settling into a panicked state within my heart and soul. I’m still embarrassed tonight typing out that thought.
Naturally, they did everything right and ensured that I’m set up for success (again, I’m blessed to be in a building full of people that’ll ensure that I get picked up when I stumble).
I hadn’t given the idea much thought after the morning session, until I was washing dishes at the apartment this evening. The reality of teaching is getting surprisingly close; not even a month away now. That means in less than a calendar month I’ll be in my own room, with my own students, not as an instructional aid or a substitute teacher, but as the primary classroom instructor. That truth sends chills down my spine.
It’s because it feels as if it’s an unattainable dream. Many times in my life I’ve come close to teaching, but something always had happened that’d sidetrack me down another random road. Whether it was a divorce, or the offer of ‘major money’, something has been in the way. Those hurdles are gone as the countdown draws near, and knowing that gives me the most butterflies you can imagine.
I’m nervous. I’m scared. I don’t want to let people down. Knowing my struggles at the past two jobs that I held, that last fear really sits and stews in my heart. So many people have done so many things to encourage me to go this direction and I desperately don’t want to screw that up. I don’t want to hear, “Someday, you’re going to achieve your dream.” I want to achieve it right now, doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing from the beginning. Teaching.
I’ve even been in denial from years ago; I took the ‘official’ spiritual gifts test…and then I took it again, and again because I hated seeing my results.
- Prophecy (it’s a long story)
I couldn’t stand school when I was a student, and life was awful (as far as I was concerned) so the notion that God would say something along the lines of, “You’re going to be a teacher”, was insulting to the core of my innermost being.
Now, I can’t imagine anywhere else I’d want to be. It’s like finding your spouse before you get married, or even engaged; something just ‘clicks’ and you know that’s it. Even in the random case with Darco, we knew that the word ‘love’ existed, even before she became a Christian. We stupidly denied the truth on so many occasions. Embarrassing moment; we would randomly hold hands in public places prior to my leave to Guatemala. We’d stop and look at each other and say, “We have to stop this.” Yet…we still don’t know why. I suppose I view education in a similar comparison; years of saying, “Yeah, no. I’m better at (this, that, or the other).” Instead, I’m not accepting my fate; I’m embracing my internal dream.
Being that passionate about something that’s going to begin so soon; that’ll scare anyone. I think.
* * *
I didn’t make it to the gym today. After school I wound up washing laundry for the rest of the day, and enjoying dinner with MC and Jim. The truth of enjoying time with family, especially with the fourth one being gone for a while, does outweigh anything else. Running does come in a close second though.
My summer race schedule has been toasted due to school and injury. While it’s frustrating, I still hold faith in knowing that I need more time to train. I’m not content with where I’m currently at. After running last week; I’m nearly convinced that I could drop a sub-5:00.00 mile, but that’s not good enough to be competitive in this day and age. You need to be able to drop a sub-4:00.00. Yes, you read that right. The average person, including myself, looks at those times and simply acknowledges that it’s not going to happen. People, aside from a small few, just don’t run that fast…ever.
Perhaps I’m foolish, and God’ll take care of that in judgement, but I want to be one of those few. I see videos about runners, athletes, Olympians that balance work, life, families, and their passion. The families that promote, encourage, and push these people to do the impossible. We don’t live in an age where you have to be from the right family, the right school, with the right coach. I’m still a firm believer that self-discipline, training, and wisdom can push people to do the impossible.
I’m just trying to prove my belief correct.
Tonight my body hurts. My hips are tight, my hamstrings are worn out, and my feet are in their usual state of chronic pain. I’ll get eight more needles pumped into my right foot tomorrow, and I’ll spend the first thirty minutes of the day stretching and strengthening specific areas of my feet. I’ll be in the gym tomorrow night, have a hard day Thursday, Friday, and Saturday before resting on Sunday. I’ll keep monitoring my nutrition intake, ensuring that I’m not dooming myself on that front, and force myself to get my seven to eight hours of solid sleep.
This is my daily routine. It’ll change in workout sessions as the season change, but the movement remains the same. Core workouts three to six days a week, and a ton of water…even if I have to force myself to drink it.
Because I’m trying to prove my belief correct.
I’m trying to shed truth to retweets, encouraging Facebook messages, and Instagram ‘likes’. I’m trying to show students who have nothing going for them, that down the road they can do the impossible. Personally, I’m trying to show the world that God is real. I don’t run, just to run, I run to win. I run to cast doubt on the haters, the hurdles, and the hindrances that stand in my way. I move as a reminder that I’m still alive, I’ve been given a second chance, and with every second gone that’s a step closer for victory to be gained.
This to scares me out of my mind.
I can’t think of many things in my life that I’ve dedicated as much time, focus, and energy to as this last year of training. I’ve had horrible injuries, I’ve felt old at times, and I’ve had to throw away a lot of greasy, delicious junk food for popcorn, fruit, and chicken.
Sometimes I yell on the treadmill, only when the gym is empty. Sometimes I get misty-eyed as the miles count down and my legs become stronger. I smile and raise my hands when my body feels like it’s moving like a horse. It’s those moments I’m in the right, it’s those moments that my life is in sync. I run because it brings God pleasure; I do it because He designed me to move.
It’s, in many ways, the best form of a sacrifice that I can offer Him. I’m not worth much, but I want Him to see His child is putting it all down in order to honor Him, and to show that he’ll fight the good fight.
Every night, even though I’m shaking, sore, and on the verge of seizing up with cramps throughout my lower body, I try as hard as I can to merely mumble these few words,
Please God, let me be fast.
In hopes that one day, He’ll hear me and place me on a path where the victory won’t go to me, but to Him.