I am a teacher. This means a lot of different things to me, but the biggest one is that my work-life balance is non-existent for about 10 months of the year. These last few years it’s been closer to 12 since I was moving and transitioning every summer. What I do have, I fight for in the early morning hours because I’m too exhausted by the time I get home. I’ve never liked that part of being a teacher, the way it consumes my entire existence. I’ve always told people it’s a lifestyle, not a job because you are never able to separate from it. Anyway, this isn’t about that. But needless to say, I’m feeling it now and am really wanting to improve that part of my life. This is about me figuring out a way to combat all of that and focus a bit more on my own self-improvement through the school year too.
Every once in a while, I see people doing some 30-day challenge and I thought, “what if I came up with a personal 30-day challenge for every month of the school year?” That way I could work on my own goals in a way that’s fun for me that keeps me focused and isn’t school-related for a change. So I did.
30-day challenge #1
I’ve just wrapped up my first 30-day challenge: “30 days of movement”. Working out is not something new to me. I love it and was working out every day until this last May when I got injured and then started a summer of travel and weird schedules. I chose this to help me get back into the swing of things after a crazy couple months of inconsistent movement.
The truth is- summer and I are not friends anymore. As you read in a previous post, summers have always been very chaotic for me. I’m always in transition either moving to a new home/city/state and/or dealing with the stress of job hunting and interviewing and starting a new position to go along with the move. Transitions are hard on the body and mind because even if you don’t notice it amongst the chaos, there is a bit of depression that will inevitably find its way in along with grieving whatever you left behind. I’m one of the few people I know that gains weight every summer.
Every. Single. Summer. Ugh.
As if all the life upheaval wasn’t enough, I’m also super sensitive to the heat. Hence why we are friends-off. I can’t do it. 98 degrees makes me want to barf, and it’s been two months of over 90 degree weather and still going. Gross. 🤮 I want no part of that. And I don’t have AC! How do people cool down?! I just want to pass out all the time, and I usually get a migraine. No, thank you. So, I become an indoor slug and gain the weight knowing I’ll drop it back off in the fall. However, I do recognize this is not a healthy pattern.
I did have intentions to be better this summer, but with all the traveling and work I had to do- it didn’t happen. Which brings me to now. I’m finally healthy again and have the energy to get back up and running, so I decided to make movement my first challenge. I was definitely excited about it, but also very aware that it was going to suck at first. Totally worth it.
At one week in, holy crap I was so sore! It felt amazing being active again, but it also never ceases to catch me off-guard just how quickly I fall out of shape when I take time off. I’m not anywhere near where I was, and I started out lifting a little too heavy, coming really close to injuring myself again.
For week 2, I scaled back a little and treated myself with patience and compassion. That got me through weeks 3 & 4 without injury while still seeing changes happening in my body. I’m getting stronger again and gaining stamina again. Feels so good.
The challenge did the trick, getting me back into the habit of moving every day and enjoying exercise as part of my daily routine. I started with the easiest one since I knew the beginning of the school year would be bananas. I also knew how much I would need that energy and endorphin kick each morning to help me be the best I can be throughout the day.
Now I can continue forward and get ready to add on challenge #2 as September begins. I’m not intending to add all of them onto each other, but since movement is so important, and it’s something I want to do everyday, I won’t stop. I’m not sure I’ll feel the same about challenge #2, but I guess we will see.