I was inspired to create this blog for a course I am taking toward my graduate work. Although I have never been naturally athletic in nature, I have always been a firm believer in setting goals and remaining a life long learner. The fact is, growth begins where our comfort zone ends. And for me, running was always way out of my comfort zone. I do, however, love expanding my knowledge and working to better myself, even if that means taking a risk and trying something new, something outside the realm of what I consider safe and secure. I relate this ongoing desire to learn and grow to my newfound love of running. Two years ago, I decided to take up running. Me, the girl who spent her entire adolescent  years trying to feign illness in an effort to escape the evil fate that was physical education. But 8 half marathons later, I realized a lot. I learned it takes believing in yourself, knowing you might fall but getting back up anyway, and always being willing to go the extra mile by putting forth time and effort toward the baby steps of progress. Sometimes, if you let yourself set a new goal and dream a new dream, you find out that in fact, you are capable of so much more than you ever imagined. Not only is this realization empowering, it perpetuates a growth mindset. Of course, I can’t help but think of one of my favorite Wizard of Oz lines here

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Dorothy had her ruby slippers and I have my trusty Asics. When I lace them up I strive for success. I may stumble, but my passion for growth despite challenges and setbacks only serves to strengthen me.

As a middle school teacher, many days I feel like I am indeed running a marathon. Sprinting around campus in the course of a day, engaging students in meaningful learning opportunities and most days never sitting down. And doing it again the next day on tired, weary legs, with the same heartfelt determination as the day before. Running has not only become my passion, but such a beautiful metaphor for life: my life as a teacher and as a life-long learner. By putting one foot in front of the other, I challenge myself as a professional to continue setting new goals and always keep growing and moving forward. Join me as I navigate the waters of middle school, pursue my graduate degree and strive to keep Learning on the Run.

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