Being a Teacher and Staying Fit

Mostly teachers care an awful lot about their students and other people, plus their development.  The only problem with this line of thinking is that we neglect ourselves.  Those outside the profession seem to think that we have a daily allowance of time to take care of ourselves and everything that we need to take care of in our lives.  This simply is not true and most of the time we spend a whole lot of time preparing and obsessing over what we could have done better.  I know that I often replay the events of the day in my head trying to figure out what I could have done to be more successful.  Plus, many of us have families that depend on us to be there when we are home.  When is there time for us to keep an eye on ourselves?

Personally, I tend to neglect myself.  For years I thought I could find happiness in only my work or focusing on one thing at a time.  The only problem was that every day I ended up focusing on only my work I neglected myself so bad that I one day woke up and hated what I saw in the mirror.  I had not noticed that for several years my eating habits had become terrible, I was getting sick, and I was constantly crashing as a result of the amount of cola I was consuming.  In short I was miserable.  I had just finished fighting off a bout of bronchitis and I could no longer walk up stairs without being winded or needing to take my inhaler.  I could no longer breathe.  I had a serious problem.  So I decided to do something about it.

Now, I am not in top physical condition today, but I did commit to taking care of myself.  I looked around and found (Steve has a very positive way of looking at fitness and the world.  Give him a look.  they helped me change my outlook and mental state.) and began reading about something called a paleo diet.  It just seemed to make sense, but I soon discovered that I needed some carbs in my life or I just felt horrible.  So what I decided to do was commit to eating vegetables and fruits with every single meal and balancing the other two out while removing as much processed food as possible.  I also cut back on the sugar (I love Coke and drinking more water instead of soda was really hard!) and started trying to commit to making decent meals for diner.  I also started using an app that tracked my running statistics, which helped motive me and showed all the effects of the terrain called run double.  I even completed the couch to 5k program from last March to last August.  I also committed to swimming on my off days or days I couldn’t run (Like when I felt something pop in my leg!).

I also have bad shoulders from several dislocations and started trying to build the muscles up.  I was having trouble keeping my arms up or holding things over my head.  So I started a regimen that would help build muscle strength in my shoulders and help my build muscles in my core area.  The activities were so painful I let out yelps of pain.  On the days I went to the gym people looked at me like I was crazy as I groaned and moaned doing my arm exercises with my 8 lb. weight.  At this point I have some more muscle in my shoulders and I no longer am in serious pain.  I think it was as painful as it was because of the scar tissue that I have in there from the separations and dislocations.  I thought about quitting many times, but stuck with it.  I am glad I did.

My results have not been startling.  I have lost maybe 2 pant sizes and about 10 lbs.  I can walk up stairs.  Overall,  I do feel better.  I feel more confident in my abilities as a human being.  I feel stronger.  I guess I just have more confidence, which translates to me being more confident with my students.  We cannot forget that without taking care of and loving ourselves can be begin to help others.  I think that at times we have to remember that we are people to and deserve to take care of ourselves.  It is ok to let the papers go for one more day.  Just get outside and do something!   Anything!  Just take a walk.  That was how I started out.   I just took a stroll when I could.  Take small steps.  In the end it will be worth it.  Just commit to changing one small thing at a time until you start seeing results of a healthier lifestyle.

I hope to stick with it through this holiday season and as it gets colder.  This time of year is usually a real doosy for me that starts with Halloween Candy  progresses to thanksgiving feasts and ends with the holiday cookie binges around Christmas.  Started running again yesterday and felt pretty good.  I am in a better position than the last time I tried starting exercise.  I also had one of my students ask me this past week, “Mr Schwarten are you getting skinner?  You look different than you did last year...”  I just smiled and said thanks for noticing my hard work.   Happy exercising!      


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