Not bad for a fat girl


Longest Movement Streak

That’s what my watch tells me every day after my workout. Wow, talk about a sentence I never thought I would write. It’s true though. I’m on a roll.

If you’ve been with me for any length of time at all, you know that exercise hasn’t exactly been something I’ve been keen on, but somehow that’s changed. Not ALL exercise. I haven’t completely changed my stripes. However, there’s a workout that I’ve been doing every day since May 27. Well, every day but one, and that couldn’t be helped. What is this magic workout, you ask. It’s jogging in the pool. Yes. Each day I put on my swimsuit and head out to the pool for at least 35 minutes of nonstop jogging. Occasionally I go twice in the same day.

I’ve always loved being in the water. I was once a lifeguard, and when I was little I swam like a fish. I have the faded construction paper “ribbons” from summer camp to prove it. One of my favorite baby pictures is of my mom standing over me, holding my hands up in the air while the rest of me is in the kiddie pool. I was clearly very happy at that moment.

This all came about entirely by accident. Let me explain. May 27, 2021 was the last day of the most challenging and exhausting school year I’ve ever experienced. I came home that afternoon tired. Not Friday tired. Not last day of school tired. More like relieved that I’d survived the school year tired. I sank into a chair, and promptly zoned out. I could have gone to sleep in a heartbeat. I would have slept for hours, maybe days, but I decided I didn’t want to do that.

I was on summer break, and I decided to reclaim my life. The 2020-2021 school year was not going to claim me as a casualty. I survived. I figured the best way to revive myself would be to jump into the pool. After all, late May in my part of the country is pretty warm, and a dip in the pool would be just the thing.

I hadn’t gotten into the pool yet this season, so I wasn’t even sure what the temperature would be, but it was terrific. I got in, I jumped around a little, I swam a few laps, and I felt great. That’s when I decided to challenge myself. I figured I have this pool (I insisted on it back when we were house hunting), so why not commit to using it each day of the summer? That’s how it started. Each day I got in, and when I did I spent some time jogging. It was all fun and games until I got my early birthday gift of an Apple Watch.

For at least 3 years my sweetheart has been wanting to gift me one, but I put him off and put him off. Then my supposedly waterproof Fitbit decided that it really wasn’t. Well, that watch has been a total game changer for me. It’s a game to me to “close my rings” each day (activity, exercise, and standing… which is a joke because it counts sleeping as standing). It also has pushed me to up my levels of activity and exercise.

I’m embarrassed to admit it, but during the year of Covid (not that it’s gone, but I do mean last school year), my daily step count averaged somewhere between 2,000-3,000. I’ve heard that 10,000 should be the minimum for most adults. Well, right now I’m averaging between 11,000-12,000 daily. I’m interested to see what my lab results will be the next time I go for my routine check up. I’m sleeping better, my appetite is pretty under control, and I’m feeling good about this whole movement thing. On top of all that, the time spent in the pool is time to clear my head and enjoy the dragonflies and occasional hummingbirds that fly by. If only summer could last forever.


Score Two For Me!

Yesterday was the last day of school. Let me assure you, this is every bit as exciting for the teacher as it is for the students.

The last day of school is meant to be a time of reflection and of wrapping up a year spent together. We looked back over what we’ve achieved, and the experiences we’ve shared. After that we headed outside for the annual staff v. 5th grade kickball game.

Yes, I said kickball. And here’s the really amazing part… I not only played, but I scored. Twice. Now you know I’m not an athlete. I’m an extremely fat 47 year old woman whose idea of physical activity is splashing around in a pool for a while (preferably with a cold beverage waiting on the edge). KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAKickball was never really my sport. Oh sure, I played, Everyone played. But that was when I was 10! I don’t think I’ve played much since then. Still, I wanted to particiapate. I didn’t want to be on the sidelines, so I signed up. You know what? It was fun. Really fun. And I really tried. I kicked hard and ran as fast as I could. And, this is amazing, I actually got on base all three times I kicked, and scored TWICE! Needless to say, I actually enjoyed the game. Way more than my colleagues who didn’t play and were supervising all the students!

After that wrapped up, we put in a long movie and the teachers worked frantically to shut down the year. There were report cards to stuff, boxes to pack, bulletin boards to take down, papers to file, furniture to clean and move, and so much more.

Add to that general chaos the fact that our building is undergoing major construction during the summer, so EVERYTHING had to be boxed by the last day of school. The thing is, we couldn’t do too much of it early because 1. there’s no place to store boxes in a room crammed full of children and furniture, and 2. as soon as kids see you breaking down the room they check out. We needed them engaged until the very end.

I can honestly say that this has been the best year of my teaching career. My colleagues, my kids, and their parents have all be fantastic. I have rediscovered the joy that should be in every classroom in the world, but is sadly missing in far too many.

As much as I’ve enjoyed it, it’s been exhausting. Every year is. It seems to me that any teacher who isn’t ready for a break by the end of the school year hasn’t really given it their all. Like an athlete who leaves it all on the field, most of the teachers I know leave it all in the classroom. By the end of the year our batteries are drained and we need a rest.

imagesThe image that the general public has of teachers in the summer is quaint, but unrealistic for most of us.
People think we send all summer in a beach chair catching up on our reading and sipping lemonade. While there’s some of that for many of us, most of us scramble around to find summer work.

Summer school, tutoring, and seasonal employment are all popular options for educators. I’ll be teaching a writing workshop over the summer through our local university. I’m happy to have the opportunity, but believe me, it’s work. Still, it doesn’t start for a few days, so I’ll enjoy the break while I can, with a good book in one hand, and a cold lemonade in the other.