The job search officially began about a month ago, but now it is officially official now that I have an interview. Nervous because it is uncharted territory: Middle school and some science teaching responsibilities. The idea of working at a private school is exciting; having met some of the parents at this school already, I know that I will not face the same struggles as I have this year working with at-risk population. I also have applications with other schools closer to my family, which I am eagerly awaiting a response. I was never good at this waiting game.
I really underestimated how difficult my first year of teaching would be. Was it because it was my first year teaching high school? That I had never taught single-subject before? That I was the minority in each of my class periods? All of the above? I am ending this school year utterly exhausted from trying to be the best teacher possible for these kids, constantly having to defend my students, my career and my profession, and end back at square one without employment secured for next year. I knew that I would most likely be pink slipped for the first 5 years. I knew it would be long hours making lesson plans and trying to figure out the best practices. I never once doubted if I had it in me to be an amazing teacher (I really believe I was born for this profession). But I would be lying if I didn't think to myself at least once or twice the past few weeks if I had what it takes to get past the next 4 years so I am not a statistic (Most teacher quit within 5 years of entering the profession).
With so many changes and things consuming my mental capacity, I have decided not to keep jumping into races. I am going to avoid setting myself up for failure and/or injury by committing the race without adequate training. Instead, I am working on my mental game. I have been a reading machine, finishing the book The Female Brain by Louanne Brizendine (fantastic read for both men and women) and started Dean Karnazes Ultra Marathon Man. Reading about how other people use running to become better at living is like soul food. I just eat it up.
When you hear about injury set backs in training, you mostly hear about physical injuries. There is overwhelming information about how to prevent and recover from IT band issues, nasty blisters, and muscle strains. But rarely do you read about how to overcome mental injuries. When life hits you like a bus and you just can't get back out to do what you love best. Anything that is of the mind is taboo for discussion in our culture. In a sport so devoted to mental endurance and fitness of the mind, I am surprised there are not as many resources focused on treating injuries of the mind and spirit. If you fracture your hip, you can water run. Stretching, cross training, and rest all help us prevent and treat the physical things keep us from logging our best miles. But when the great motivator in our head breaks down, where do we turn to? How does a runner learn to heal? How do you prevent injuries of the mind/spirit in the first place?
For now I am sticking to small stuff, mostly 30 minute cross training sessions, some treadmill, and a lot of reading and research to get my mental game back. I have lost the mental fortitude I went into my Nike Women's Marathon training with (Boston sucked the runner's life out of me?), and I am desperately seeking it back. Now I am trying to figure how to just shut up about all the bad stuff and get out for a nice, long run.