Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Training for life

I'm the kind of person who loves a checklist.  I know, kind of "geeky"!
The stroking off of tasks and accomplishments makes my day feel complete and proud of the work I've accomplished. 

Just over a year and a half ago, I ran my first half marathon.  
STWM 2012
The thrill of working through each training day and following the advice of my handy, dandy, built in coach, Hal Higdon was not only exactly the type of structure I thrive on, but the plan of attack that helped me reach my goal.

Last week I had the privilege of being apart of the Ministry of Ontario's Teacher Learning & Leadership Program (TLLP).  The two and a half day conference, "Leadership Skills for Classroom Teachers"  is second to none.  The agenda is jam packed with meaningful professional development, an all star cast of presenters, a focus on highlighting real Ontario teachers who have already traveled along the path of a TLLP (Roland, Derrick, Natalie, Daniela, Cathy and ME!) and provides participants chunks of time to complete a series of focused tasks.  

This is my kind of pd.

One of the presenters that I took a lot from was Susan Perry.  I have heard Susan speak at this session a year prior and two years prior to that.  Finally, though, her message that resonated with me this time was that, "attaining a goal is like running a marathon ~ finishers medal and all!"

Most of us don't have the talent to just up and start running and BAM...

Rather, most of us start out by perhaps completing a Coach-to-5K program.  We purchase running gear.  Run a few 5K races in our local area.  Start to talk about running...  And so on and so forth.

Essentially, each one of us will need to make a plan, set realistic time lines, goals, and revamp based on our own personal needs.  

The best part though...?  If we stick with it (and it will be hard to do) our goal is achievable.  

I think this type of message is one that we all need to hear.  

Not specific for a group of teacher leaders.  

Not specific for someone who wants to run a marathon.  

And not specific for someone who now wants to complete her first triathlon!  (Seriously... that last one is me!)

Setting goals, having a plan of attack and being able to recalculate when you take a wrong turn or an unexpected road block is really being ready to train for life.

When I first started running, my coach Dawn Linklater told me not to look down at the immediate path in front of me.  (She assured me I wouldn't fall in a pot hole!)  Rather, my eyes, she advised should be slightly focused straight ahead, in the direction one wants to travel.  

So, if I could combine Dawn and Susan's powerful messages here for you, I would ask,

Set a goal.  Make a plan.  Look up and see the direction you want to move in.


Leave me a message or a comment below.  I'd love to know what you have your eyes focused on in the near and not-so-near future.