© 2014 paulwhankins

One Step. . .Into the New

You could choose a metaphor for a new year by looking at a picture of a road. One originating from an unknown location. Let’s call it 2013. And stretching into the distance. Let’s call it 2014.

But, it’s all so predictable.

So. . .let’s not.

There are as many opportunities for turning a yesterday into a today into a now as there might be in flipping a calendar year. For many of us, today is Wednesday. Call it what you will; it’s another day.

And we will have met the needs of the day with the best of that with which we had to meet it.

I slept until 8:45 this morning. I hadn’t meant to sleep in and this was the longest I have slept in for some time. First day of the year. Sleeping in. . .perhaps 2014 is trying to tell me that we will meet the year in our own time. I’ll bet a number of people were up before 8:45, casting side-long glances at the refrigerator, perhaps heading off to the gym. Whatever it might have been, a number of people were doing it before I even rolled out of bed.

But a plan was already in place for the day. I would return to running actively again. I’ll bet you thought I was ignoring you at #runteacherrun. I’ll bet you already knew I wouldn’t make the 1000 of 250/500/750/100. It’s okay. Because. . .today. . .I went downstairs and I got back on that treadmill. I haven’t run since the week of Fast Freddie’s Five-Mile Foot Feast and the Miles for Merry Miracles 5K. This means the beginning of December. No running. No waking up early.

We don’t have to go public with this. But we will go public with this. It’s not a matter of shame. It’s not a matter of failure. The only thing we had to do was to find the “resolve” to go right back downstairs and begin again. Let’s call it a “season.” An “off-season.”

But, we put down three miles on that treadmill this morning. They didn’t feel as optimal as–say–last summer or fall when we were really getting after it, but there were three miles to record at the end of the half-hour we spent on the treadmill.

That’s 3/3/1000. And it begins with a first purposeful step. For a new year or for a new day. It’s either January 1st, 2014 or it’s Wednesday.

When our students return next week, they will have been a sort of season themselves. What might this have looked like? Think they have been anxiously awaiting to post their #bookaday titles? Maybe. Maybe not. Think they have been posting on Instagram their highly-anticipated titles for 2014? Maybe. Maybe not.

You might think me the pessimist here. And I may even be one. That’s the thing with pessimism though. Half the time one is right and the other half of the time one is not let down by what has transpired.

The point of any of this is that I didn’t have to go public with the fact that I’ve not been running. But I needed to let you know that I am running again. Because, everything inside of me says that it is time to run again.

What will move inside of our young readers next week that tells them. . .”It’s time to read again?” How will they move to those reading spaces they have come to know after a semester. Will it be a “cold” start, or will they enter right back into the flow of the reading season?

One thing that helped me this morning to go downstairs and to hit the treadmill was “self-talking” into the moment. “I’m going downstairs. It’s okay to walk a bit before running. I need to listen to my body. This is not a race. It’s a morning workout. . .in the end, it is how you are feeling while you run this morning. You’re not doing this for points. There is no t-shirt other than the one you wore down here. You do this because you love to do it. You like how it feels. If there is any other reason, you should name it in order to assess whether or not it meets the level of love you have for running. If not. . .we had better think about what that means.”

Self-talk. Yours may sound much different. Voices as much as results may vary.

We could help with our reader’s self-talk on the first day back to school next week. Will we speak of due dates on the first day back or will we come back with what we will do today?

Whatever our first morning message might sound like, I hope that mine sounds like an approach to the day. An invitation to read something as new as the year. This is something we should do. First day back.

There will always be something due.







One Comment

  1. gaepolisner
    Posted January 1, 2014 at 6:09 PM | #

    As you know, I try to swim many days a week. Sometimes, I get in the water and I am energetic and fluid and powerful. Those are the good swims. Those are the ones I strive for. But sometimes, I get in the water and I’m tired and slow and weak. On those days, I’ve gotten better at reminding myself that those are the true “good” swims. THOSE are the accomplishment. Not the wonderwoman swims, but the ones where I really have to force myself to make the time, push myself, use my mind to make my body go. And whatever swim I do on those days, is the better one. It’s amazing how the change in perspective helps me on those days.

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