When all else fails, I am trying to remember that I trained for an Ironman for 9 months, and for those 9 months, I managed to find time to work, eat, sleep, and train from 8-19 hours a week consistently.
I'm trying to remember that because I am buried under a sea of 78 projects--although they are very creative and really good and it excites me to see what the kids come up with, at the same time, grading 78 projects and 78 corresponding papers is a little overwhelming. It looks like a history book threw up in my classroom right now.
And next week, I have to give tests in each class, grade them, and grade everything else that's piled from this week, and get my grades for all students entered in the system.
Ah, yes. The end of the grading period. Those that are educators out there know what I mean.
When all else fails, I try not to think of what January-August might bring, as we are transitioning a bit and still trying to find what's the next best step. And it's a bit scary to think of what we might be doing, or how we pay for it, etc. etc. etc.
So when all else fails I remember that somehow I managed those 9 months.
So I've been trying to get a few workouts in, because I need them more this week than ever. I tried some speedwork for the first time since, oh, June. 800 repeats, TriSaraTops. TriSaraTops, 800 repeats. Nice to meet you.
And it didn't go so bad. One was under 3:40. The rest weren't, but were close, and all things considered, I'll take that for this week.
When all else fails, I remember what I did on September 10th and how I got there, and I don't sweat it.
When I talked to my friend today, and I realized how much she needs me, and needs her friends and family right now, I dropped what I was doing and dropped my workout so I could try to help. And I feel bad--like I didn't really help, and wasn't of much use--but when all else fails, I remember that sometimes it takes a long time and a lot of patience to make a difference, so I will keep trying and trying and trying. And I know how strong she is and how strong I am and I know we'll get through this together.
As I sit here, completely overwhelmed by numerous responsibilities I have this week--as a friend, as a wife, as an educator--I think about what really matters. What really matters is their projects might take a few days. And that's okay. Because tomorrow I will get on a plane, and repay a favor that meant more to me (and continues to mean more to me) than I can really explain. I will be there as my friend Jaclyn takes on her first Marathon in Chicago--because she was with me every step of the way in Madison, consistently checking on me when I was overwhelmed with training and life, sending me cards just to let me know that I was inspiring her.
Me? Inspiring her? It still seems crazy.
So I will be there for her. And I hope that I can give her as much support as she did for me that day. And I will do whatever I can to make sure she has an amazing, amazing race day. No matter what happens.
Because when all else fails, you remember what's important--your friends, your love, your family. You remember what Ironman taught you. To eliminate everything else except these things, because you have to or you just won't make it even to the starting line.
And so that's what you do.