A little over a month ago, I was at the tail end of a fitness challenge.
I did this thing with several of my closest friends and it turned out to be a really excellent experience (I'll not mention here how far away from the wagon the mighty have fallen...).
So, I blogged about this challenge briefly in a previous post, and that was definitely during the honeymoon phase of events--things were bright and sparkly, I was feeling fresh and accomplished, and all the things that the chemicals in your brain make you feel when you're doing the exercising thing. Then, there was the day that our assignment was to do 50 burpees for time.
Fifty. Burpees. All in a row. On purpose.
I almost quit. Right about 2/3 of the way through, I almost stopped and said I was finished. I was all by myself, in the middle of my living room, and I was ready to stop.
Then I thought about a lot of things, which I won't be typing about here, but they ran the gamut of what you might imagine would be happening in a person's mind when they're on the precipice of quitting.
I was in what we'll very loosely refer to as a push-up position, and I hesitated. I paused, and all of the reasons I might as well just stop ran through my mind one after the other in super-speed.
Turns out, the pause was unwise.
Anyway, as l was lying there with my forehead on the floor, on the verge of tears for being pushed to my absolute physical and mental limit, I thought: nope. No. This is not how this ends. Get off the damn floor.
And then I did.
And then I did that like, 16 more times.
So, as I type this, I'm sitting in my classroom, thinking about the job I'm doing. And I feel a little bit like September Jessie, lying on the floor with 16 burpees to go. Feeling like the only thing I can see or hear is all the ways that getting off the floor won't matter, or make a difference.
I'll say this here: please pardon the melodrama--it's been a whole thing, my life lately, and we're right in the dang middle of DEVOLSON, and it's a full moon, and Halloween is like 3 seconds away, so, ya know indulge me for a minute.
Anyway, it feels like all jobs probably do when you feel like you're doing everything you know how to do, but it's not feeling like it's enough. I feel proud of how hard I work to teach my kids--how seriously I take this responsibility. But then I start to question myself, because in addition to remembering all the best things and ways and resources and standards and accommodations and that X is not into the BOMB lesson you created with care because Y just broke up with him so tread lightly, and don't forget how the moon phases jack with the children and also all of the emails and meetings and paperwork and grading and returning papers quickly and not raging out when they don't come to tutoring when they said they would or probably haven't brought a pencil since the first week and will not stop tapping, for the love.
It feels like a lot.
It feels a lot like pausing in the midst of 50 burpees and questioning if getting off the floor makes a difference. If throwing yourself down and picking yourself up is worth it over and over again, even when you don't see any results immediately.
You see where I'm going with this, I'm sure.
It's a really hard thing, being a teacher.
I hate even typing any of what I just typed because it feels shallow and self-congratulatory, and martyr-y (a word I just made up...let it happen). But it's true. It's true like doing 50 burpees for time when you're really out of shape is really difficult.
And I think it's okay to let myself say it. Even if it's just here.
It is difficult. It will continue to be difficult. But every day won't feel as Sisyphean as this one. And you know what I'm going to do?
Get off the floor.
Because being your own cheerleader isn't so bad. And when you get off the proverbial floor you stop staring at the ground long enough to realize you're not the only one trying to make it happen [the metaphor is kind of falling apart here, but you get my drift].
I don't want to continue to feel the way I do today, so earlier, I decided to figure out what Wisdom says in response to feeling like the hard work won't pay off, or that the method to my madness is wrong, or whatever. Here's what I've got for you to end on. Believe it: