Thursday, October 25, 2012

The tie that binds

This has been a very emotional week for me for many reasons, but as I was driving to the gym tonight I started thinking about why this week has been such a rough one for me. Then I realized one of the big things that I have been "putting off" dealing with is the passing of my grandfather. This has come to the forefront this week as my mom is in South Africa visiting her mom and brothers and one of the things they will be doing on Sunday in the unveiling of the headstone.

As is customary in Jewish tradition, the headstone is unveiled somewhere between 6-12 months after someone passes. This gives people time to grieve and this ceremony is to help provide some closure. For my mom, I know that this weekend is going to be especially hard and I wish that I was there to give her some support. I am hoping that she will read this and know that I am thinking of her, and everyone else I love who are half way around the world.

This time of the year last year was the beginning on a series of unfortunate events in my family, My mother-in-law was ill, my mother fell at work and broke both her shoulders and then my grandfather passed shortly after "our birthday". Due to her injuries, my mom was not able to travel the long distance to be with her family. I know how heart broken she was to not only lose her father, but to also not be able to be comforted by her mom. While it was difficult for her, it was difficult for me too, but for different reasons.

While I hate my December 26 birthday (it always seems to be lumped in with something), it was special to me as I shared it with my grandfather and my uncle (my dad's sister's late husband). While the 3 of us never actually celebrated together, there was a special tie that bound us together. When my uncle passed away 12 years ago, it was difficult, but I knew that every year on my birthday I would think of him and "our day". A birthday highlight has ALWAYS been the phone call from South Africa where my Oupa and I would wish each other happy birthday. I now know that last year was the last of that, well...actually the year before was the last as this past December he was sick and I had to send my birthday wish through my granny. Although I knew I would always be the last of the "Boxing Day babies", the reality of it is finally hitting me.

While I wish that I was there at the unveiling, I am seeing this blog entry as my own personal unveiling. A way for me to grieve the loss of a wonderful man who's army picture hangs proudly in my classroom. A man who I never fully got to know due to the distance between us, but someone who will always have a very special place in my heart! 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Goal Achieved!!!

My very first blog post was about my goal of running a 5km. Today I did just that! Nothing fancy; just me, my iPhone and the road! It wasn't my plan to run 5km today, it just happened! Somewhere around 3.7km I was feeling good and I convinced myself I could do it! And I did!

Just in time a new challenge starts tomorrow!!!

Monday, September 24, 2012

You are who you teach! :)

I must admit that the last few hours I have been acting like a giddy 5 year old not someone who is almost 35! For those of you who know me well, this is just a small a step up from my "usual" energy level! Add in a FEW happy dances and you have me the past 3 hours :)

People have always told me that I am high energy and that it makes sense that I teach Kinders, as I can keep up with them! I LOVE to have a great time, but I also take time to appreciate the small things in life! My classroom is full of dancing and celebrations, usually for things that kids have accomplished, achieved or celebrating. Birthdays are a BIG deal in my class, but sadly, I never get to celebrate mine in class as it falls during winter break!

Well...this year I will have a little something extra to celebrate!!! My class will not get to be there with me, but I will be taking LOTS of pictures as I get to meet Hope, Nelson, Tofino, Lillooet , Steveston, Sechelt and Salt Spring; the African penguins who call the Vancouver Aquarium home (only 5 pictured here).

Words can't even begin to explain how happy I was when my mom called to tell me that she had arranged this for me! A few months back my mom mentioned that she used to work with a guy who is highly involved at the Aquarium and that she was working on getting a behind the scene tour for me. Not wanting to get my hopes up, I put this thought aside until today when I got a phone call saying that it is arranged!! In December, I will get to go behind the scenes and do a "meet and greet" with these animals that I have been in awe of for so many years! Words cant describe what a thrill this is going to be for me.

One of the things that not many people know is how much my mom does "behind the scenes" for my class. When I was teaching in California, so would regularly send Canadian postcards, pins and stickers for my class. They always got such a thrill out of this! The past 2 years, she has come and spent a day in my class helping out with a project and she often buys things that she thinks they will enjoy for me to bring in to them. This year I owe her and EXTRA BIG thank you as she also arranged for my class to go an fully paid for (I think) field trip to the Aquarium. I am hoping to confirm the details soon, but needless to say there are not enough words to say to her. With 1 simple email, she has made my year and hopefully the year of 20 wonderful 5 year olds!

If this is how my school year is starting, I can't wait to see what else it holds for me and the students I am working with this year. As for me, I will continue being 35 going on 5 by "counting the sleeps" until I get to meet these magical feathered friends! 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A new year of wonder

Today was the first day of school...technically! Although I didn't get to spend much time with the 70 new Kinders today, I am super excited to spend some quality time with 18 of them tomorrow. I cant wait, even though I will admit I am probably just as nervous as they are!

There is something truly magical about the first day of school! I am so fortunate to work at a school where the staff and students are AMAZING!!! Although it has been 10 weeks since I have seen many of these faces, it seems like we never left. Conversations around the staff room tables seemed to pick up where we left off in June, except now the stories are about all the exciting things we did over the summer! As has become the tradition at my school, we all submit pictures of a summer memory to share at our welcome back meeting. It is a glimpse into our "real lives" and seems to bring the staff even closer together. Being around such great people and hearing their stories really does " re-charge my battery". My summer was exciting and busy, but had its bumps along the way! Listening to all the great things others did has inspired me to add to do list for next year.

One of my favourite part of the day was seeing some the familiar faces from last year. Although it has only been 10 weeks, so many of them seemed to have "grown up" over the summer. They seem so much bigger and mature then when I saw them last. I received tons of hugs, lots of "Can't I be in your class again?" but most of all, I saw that familiar look in their eyes. The look of excitement and wonder! They were excited to be back, excited to learn and excited to see what this year will hold for them.

 As for me, tonight will be a "sleepless" night wondering what tomorrow holds for me! If today was any indication, it is going to be a GREAT year. A wonderful day at school followed by an AMAZING (but sweaty) workout! I am so excited to see what I am going to learn from the 20 or so new faces in my room. I am sure that each one of them will change me in some way and I am looking forward to seeing how! The best part of teaching is that everyday, every class, every year is different!

Friday, August 17, 2012

"Exercising" my demons

This whole blogging process started for me way back in May when I set the goal of running a 5km. If you have followed my posts, you will know that this is still a goal I am working on and one I hope to accomplish very soon! While I know I should put a date on this goal, I am reluctant to...but I know it will happen very soon.

Today I went for a run at the gym as it was WAY too hot to run at the track as I had been. I have been following  a 12 week running plan, but today I decided to take a break from that and "get out of own head" and push through some mental blocks. The goal of today's run was to not stop!

I hopped on the treadmill and set the time for 33 minutes and decided that I was just going to run! My friend Miriam had given me some great advice of slowing my pace down to be able to run for long, so I starred off at 4.5 MPH and I ran there for 23 minutes straight (minus a couple quick water sips). In the past this where I often "jumped" off the treadmill. I have never had trouble starting, but it was finishing that has always been my issue. Today was about proving to myself that the voices in my head were wrong!

I was so proud of myself as this is the longest I have even run without I decided to kick it up a notch! With 10 minutes to go, I upped my pace to 5.0 MPH and then with 4 minutes to go up to 5.5! By the end of the 33 minutes I had run just over 4km, but more importantly, I didn't stop!! The best part, I probably could have done more if I didn't have to leave to go somewhere. After today's workout, I am more confident than ever that my 5km goal will be reached sooner than later!

Monday, August 13, 2012

All good things must come to an end......for now!

I am fortunate to belong to a tightly knit extended family on my husband's side and in the past 13 months, there have been NUMEROUS occasions for us all (or at least most of us) to get together and celebrate. This is the time we all dread...heading back to our respective cities with the hope that we be reunited sooner than later.

Last year my husband and I were married and we were fortunate to have many relatives from his side from Toronto, Ottawa, England and Israel attend our wedding. While there were some cousins missing, we had a great time and knew that those cousins would be coming out this year. Here are some pics from our wedding May 22, 2011

One of my favs 
This pic is so wrong, but so right
First Dance

Starting in the middle of July, his side started arriving again...this time for 2 weddings in the span of 2 weeks! That may sound crazy to most families, but in this case it made a lot of sense. My husband's brother and sister were both married in a 14 day span in two different cities (Vancouver and Toronto)!!! This allowed most of the family to attend both weddings, but on one trip. While at times it was overwhelming being around that many people who all speak another language (if I am lucky, I can pick out key words), it was wonderful to be surrounded by that many people who all love each other!

Some pics from his sister's wedding at Vancouver's VanDusen Gardens - July 29, 2012

Us at the wedding

Sealed with a kiss

Siblings :)

With 1 week "off" to recover, we all made the trek from Vancouver to Toronto to continue the party! One cousin returned to Israel, an uncle arrived (from Israel) and two more second cousins (from Israel) came to join the festivities! For those of you who aren't familiar with Jewish weddings, it is more than a one day event! For each of the 3 weddings, there was a Friday dinner, a Saturday dinner and finally the wedding on Sunday.

Some pics from his brother's wedding at Toronto's Liberty Grand - August 12,2012

Us before the wedding
Mazel Tov!!! With a Scottish twist! 

First Dance
 Tonight was the beginning of the painful process where we must all start parting ways and head back to "normal life." The tears started flowing with the realization that it may be a long time before all the cousins are back together in the same city. While there is another wedding coming up in May in Israel, we may not all be able to make it due to "real life". I have had a wonderful time getting to know all of my husband's first cousins on his dad's side and I am saddened that these people have only been in my life for a short time.

The next happy couple - May 2013 in Israel

While I am sure we will keep in touch through Facebook, it won't be the same as it has been these past 3 weeks. It makes me realize just how special family (especially cousins) is and how much I miss spending time with mine. Many people over the past few weeks have talked about how fast time is flying and how important family is....these past 3 weeks have really reminded me of this. Family is too important and special to take for granted and you need to enjoy and appreciate the time you have together!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Pet Pevees

Kinderchat has their third question for the summer 2012 blogging challenge ready!
Tell us about your pet peeves. Do it however you want: write a list of 50 things that drive you crazy, or an essay about just one thing, or story combining several things, or write a song, or some limericks, or an epic poem. A photo essay! A slideshow! Video journalism! Stand up comedy! The sky is the limit, just tell us what grinds your teeth as a teacher (or an administrator, or a program director, or in whatever capacity you are joining this challenge.) (Yeah, parentheses again. I think I need an intervention.) Be careful: your blog is public, and you never know who is reading. Be positive and professional, but tell the truth. You can do it.
This is a post that you could have a lot of fun writing, and one that could go on forever!!! I have decided to stick to 3…3 is a good number I think….here goes! 

1)     The word “funner”. I HATE this word!!! Adults who use it sound uneducated and kids who use it need their grammar fixed! As an early primary teacher, I have the joy of trying to explain to kids why certain words don’t follow the rules. Happy – happier, sad – sadder, fun – funner - wrong! Then this is the conversation that follows: 
Me – “Not funner, but more fun. That game is more fun.”
Kid – “Why?”
Me – “English is a funny language and this is one of those words that doesn’t follow the rules.”
Kid – “But it’s more words”
Me – “I know it’s more words, but that is how you say it properly.”

When I lived in San Diego I had the joy of working for a gymnastics club who’s slogan was “The Funner Gym”. I had numerous conversations with the owner about the grammar and that if he is running a business where children are your main clientele, he should use proper grammar. Needless to say we didn’t see eye to eye on that and once I landed a teaching job… I quit! 

2)     This is something that drove me up the wall this year in my class and I am sure lots of you can relate! Nothing gets my blood boiling in a classroom then asking a kid to stop doing something (this year it was clicking noises with their tongues) and then having the kid right next to them start!! AHHHH!!!! My favourite part of this is when you ask that kid why they think they can do it when I asked the person next to them to stop, I always get that same I don’t know look! 

3)     People thinking that just because I am short and I look young that I am not capable. Sure, I am 5’2 and I don’t look my age, but when it comes to doing my job, I am plenty capable! When people actually take the time to talk to me, they find out that I have been working with children as a gymnastics coach for almost 23 years and that I have been teaching in the classroom for 11. And if that isn’t enough for them…I can show them my video of me dead lifting 300pounds and clearing a 36” hurdle!!! 

My home away from home

Kinderblog weekly challenge - week 2. Tell us about one (or two, or a few) of the classrooms you have had over the years. Not the kids, the ROOMS. What have you loved? What have you hated? How did you FEEL in the space? What did you DO with the space that, looking back, seems ridiculous? Or brilliant? We all spend so much time in our classrooms, we really do develop a relationship with the physical space. Tell us about that (those) relationship(s).

Although we are now in week 3 of the challenge, I have been thinking about this post for a week or so, and now is the time to sit and write it. As I have been reflecting, the one that that became glaringly obvious to me is that it doesn’t matter what the room looks like, it is what you as a teacher do with it. This hit home with me hard last week when I walked into the room that I was assigned for summer school. I walked in at 8:00 (the kids were arriving at 8:30 and there was staff meeting in there somewhere) and the room literally had nothing – tables, chairs and that was it! My first thought was – I have 18 kinders going into grade 1 coming in here in 30 minutes, I have NOTHING and it’s raining! A little creativity, some “kid” art, some toys borrowed from a neighbour and we were good to go! Having the blank canvas, even for a 9 day summer school session, was actually just what I needed!

I have had the privilege of working in several schools (both private and public) in both Canada and the United States. This has allowed me the opportunity to view MANY ways that a class can be set up. As a teacher on call, the one thing I loved was going into a room and seeing how that teacher had laid it out. Room layout is such a personal thing and everyone has their reasons as to why or why not to put things in a place. Your room is your home away from home, and as such it is very personal. And like the furniture in your house, every once in a while, it needs to be re-arranged! I typically re-arrange me furniture 3-5 times in a school year for various reasons (start of a new year, accommodate an activity/new furniture, need a change, try something new) and when I do it always feels like I am in a “new” room.

People might say that I am crazy, but my favourite room that I have worked in to date was actually a portable in Lakeside, California (just south of San Diego). When most people here portable, thoughts go to a small, stuffy space where you are confined on the outskirts of the school. The reason I LOVED this portable is because when I got it, it was literally a blank canvas. I was hired to pilot a new program in the district and as such, I was allowed to choose what shelving, tables, cubbies and of course manipulatives I wanted to have in the room. The space was a large (as far as portables go) and this only thing it didn’t have was a sink (the other portables at this school had them), which for Pre-Kinders was a bit tough, but we got creative. The physical space was a large rectangle, which allowed me to “break” the room up easily into different centers and when it was warm, we went right outside the door to use the sidewalk as extra space.  
I am going into my 3rd year in my current room and while it is a HUGE kindergarten classroom (fully equipped with a bathroom and shared kitchen), the actual usable space is awkward. In the 2 years I have had the room, it has undergone NUMEROUS configurations, all of which involved lengthy conversations with colleagues as to what they thought might help the room. The latest configuration has my teacher desk at the back near the exterior door in the hopes of allowing more play space. Some people have cautioned me against it there (proximity to parents at the door mostly), but I think it will be ok, and if it’s a problem, it will just mean another move. 

My friend Laura @lmurtsell and I have had many conversations about the “problem” in my room is how the carpet is laid. There is linoleum and carpet in the room and that “divide” seems to push us into placing furniture in certain spots, therefore adding to the “wasted” space in my room. IF I could have my way, I would switch the cubbies at the back of my room with the shelving by the hallway door. In my mind, that would make much more useable space in  both areas…but I have been told “there is no money in the budget for those renovations.” So I guess I will just be thankful that I have classroom I enjoy being in with lots of toys and manipulatives for the next group to come through in September.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Reflections on a year....

I have been thinking about this blog for a while, but having recently been called out by a great colleague, @lirenmanlearns for not responding right away, I have decided to finally sit down and put my thoughts on "paper".

Here is the challenge that was put out there: What did you learn this past (or, for our southern hemisphere friends, what ARE you learning this current) school year that you couldn’t have learned any other year, from any other students or colleagues or administrators or parents? What lessons did this particular year, this particular setting, these particular children bring into your life?
posted by @happycampergirl for #Kinderchat #Kinderblog2012 Challenge

For me the question is not what did I learn, the question is what didn't I learn this year? I will say that in my 11 years of teaching, this was the year that really changed me in many ways. Not only did my teaching practices change through the use of Ipads, twitter and the document camera/projector combo that I love, so  did my view on my teaching. 

More than any other year, this year challenged me. This year challenged me emotionally, physically and professionally. As I sit here and reflect on the year, I realize that I have grown more as an educator this year than in any of the previous 11. This class that I just wrapped up made me question everything! 

I have had NUMEROUS conversations this year with my colleagues and admin about my class and the challenges we have been through  the course of 10 months. It has not been an easy year, but the 19 kids that I have worked with this year have changed me in ways that they will never know! Here is just one example of how I have grown this year...

Working in an inner city school I have always known that school is the only stable part of life for many of the children we work with. This became clear to me this year when in May one of my students started having anxiety about and acting out in class. This caused her to act out in inappropriate ways towards myself and others. I was left there asking myself why is this happening? Why now? What is going on to cause this sudden change?

It wasn't until I took a step back and pulled her aside to talk with her that I realized the root of the problem...she didn't want to leave me and have a new teacher in September. As a K teacher, I have had this told to me a many times, and usually a big hug and telling them that I will always be here visit and telling them that they will love their grade 1 teacher just as much (or more than me) has been enough. In this case it wasn't. She wanted to know from me, that no matter what she was doing, that I still cared about her as a person.

She and I agreed that I would write a special letter just for her and give it to her on the last day of school to help her get through the summer. I didn't realize just how important that was to her, until every day for the 14 days prior to school ending she reminded me of the letter. This is when it hit me....I have been the stable force in her life for the past 10 months and through it all, I have always believed in her, even when she didn't believe in herself. That letter meant more to her than anything else because to her, it meant that someone (besides her family) cared about her unconditionally. She also needed to know that I was going to follow through on my promise, something I am sure many people in her life have not done. Asking me daily was not her way of annoying me, it was her way of letting me know just how important this was to her.

Writing that letter made me cry, but it also made me happy to remember why it is I teach Kindergarten. I teach kindergarten because the BIGGEST part of my job it take  these 4 and 5 years olds and get them off to a good start in school; make them LOVE learning and to let them know that people care. If these kids leave my room in June loving school, loving learning, knowing how to treat people well and ready to explore the world.....then I have done my job! This girl will never remember the math or reading lessons that we did, but she will ALWAYS remember that I cared about her and that is more valuable than any lesson I could even teach my class. I want to thank her for reminding why I LOVE my job!!!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Being a team player

As many teachers do at this time of the year, I am sitting here reflecting on the school year that has just come to a end. This one has been a challenging one for for me, but I have learned many lessons that I will take into my next years of teaching and help me grow even more as a teacher. Every year my class teaches me something different, this year it was how to be more patient, flexible and how to let things go.

My friend Kristy put it best the other day "what a unique job I have... take this little crew up kids in the fall and teach them and create a little 'grade one family' with them and fall in love with them and then have to say good-bye. Today is always a day of such mixed emotions!!!!".

While I teach Kinder and not grade 1, the message is the same. Take this group of  4 and 5 year olds, teach them how to be independent,  love school, print, read, count and the many other 100's of skills we work on during a year and then let them go 10 months later. How can I not feel a void when the year is done?

The one thing that has allowed me to get through the past 10 months is the amazing team that I work on. They are not only my colleagues, they are my friends. There to pick me up when I need it and celebrate the success with! In my years of teaching, I have been at a dozen schools and I will tell you that the staff I am on now is special! The tears that flowed as we said our good-byes yesterday were genuine and the words spoken came from the heart. As the people leaving stood up to speak, the words that kept being repeated over and over again were "I work with a great team of people". I don't feel like I go to work everyday, I go and spend time with great people - students, admin, parents and staff. Our principal Antonio Vendramin wrote it best last week in his blog It takes a village I am so proud to be a member of that village!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

1 step forward...3 HUGE steps back!

When I first started this blog 8 weeks ago, I was 4 weeks into a 12 week training for a 5km. If you can do the math...that means that this should have been the weekend that I completed my goal....but its not, and I am OK with that (sort of). Let me explain...

In many ways I am OK with not completing my goal, because the reason was out of my control. I have asthma and the past 4 weeks have been awful for me! 4 weeks ago, even though I wasn't feeling well, I went out and trained and 5 hours later I was in the ER getting a Ventolin mask because I was so wheezy. Me, being me, I took 1 day off of training and went right back to it (Marc and Chris insisted that I slow down a bit) and 10 days after that I was back in the ER, this time what what doctors thought was pneumonia. Another Ventolin mask, a steroid shot and 5 days of antibiotics and steroids later and I still wasn't feeling 100%. Again, me being me, I took 1 day off work and 2 days off working out and was right back at it. 10 days later and I think I can maybe handle a full workout this week.

I would not be OK with not completing my goal this weekend if the reason wasn't medical. In the past I have used my asthma as an excuse for not pushing myself. This goal came from me and I WILL make it! I am going to prove to myself once and for all that I can do it! That being said, I also do need to listen to my body and give it the rest it so desperately needed so that I can push it again.

I took this week off of running to give my body 1 more week to fully recover and Sunday I will be back at the track :) Truth be told, I have actually missed running the past 4 weeks. And that is something that I never thought I would say and the reason I know that I WILL complete this goal!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The path you take...

This week has been a very busy one both professionally and personally!! We had an amazing pro-d on reference and regulate with  David Loyst and I was fortunate to attend the district's debrief day on the Innovative Learning Designs project for year 1. While I learned a lot at both of these events, it was my weekend activities that really got me thinking. wasn't the insane workout that Chris created for us this weekend at Peak Fitness, although I am still looking for volunteers to come with me for a free week this week!

On top of everything else we as teachers do in June, I have volunteered to work an extra 2 weekend days at my other job at Cartwheels Gymnastics. Why do I do this to myself every year in the second craziest month of the year (I still think September is crazier than June)? It's simple....I love seeing kids happy! It's why I teach, it's why I coach and it's why I spend 2 Sundays in June every year working at the year end recital for Cartwheels.

Today was extra was the 10th annual year end show for the Richmond location. While I haven't worked there the whole 10 years, I have worked with the owners for the better part of my life. Katherine and Lisa have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I have come full circle with Lisa - she coached me and later in life, I coached her daughter Gina. Katherine and I have worked together on and off since I was 12 years old! I still remember Katherine calling me and telling me that she was leaving Phoenix Gymnastics to open Cartwheels.

These 2 women are part of the reason I became a teacher. They encouraged me when I was younger to achieve ALL my goals and as I got older saw something in me that they believed would make me a good coach. It was through coaching that I began to realize what I wanted to be when I grew up....a teacher!

This got me thinking about my path in life...what if I hadn't done gymnastics as a child? What is I hadn't injured myself at age 12? What if I wasn't lucky enough to be mentored by amazing women and pushed into coaching when I couldn't go back to training? Would I have still ended up as a teacher? I believe I wouldn't be teaching if it had not been for the wonderful coaches that came into my life.I am not sure where I would be, but I am pretty sure I wouldn't be in the classroom.

When I looked around the arena, I was very proud to see many of the gymnasts who I coached (way back when) either still in the sport or coaching. To me, that means that I have done my job as a coach. I hope that in some way I have inspired these young athletes to pursue whatever it is they wish to become in their life. One day I hope that my athletes and students will be able to inspire someone else to achieve their potential.

I leave you with this...who has inspired you to follow your dreams?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Wedding vs Marriage

"Wow!!! Its been a year already"...I have heard that from so many friends and family when I tell them that this week Daniel and I are celebrating our 1 year wedding anniversary. In so many ways this year has gone by VERY quickly, and I too often find myself thinking "a year already" how can that be? This time last year I was putting the final touches on our special day and getting ready to say "I do" and think that a year has already gone by blows my mind. The year leading up to the wedding seemed to take forever, and this one has blown by. This got me thinking about wedding and marriages...

My friend Miriam asked me before we got married why we were getting married and what was the purpose of a wedding. I told her that it was a day to show people how much we care about each other and that we planned on spending our lives together. Her response was simply, I plan on doing that with Greg and we don't need a special day to make that happen. Fast forward 1 year...and they are getting married in August (and even though I wont be there, I am SOOOOO excited and happy for them). So what changed for them? After many years together, they just wanted to make it "official" in every sense of the word.

To Miriam and Greg, and to Daniel and I, a wedding is just a day while a marriage is how your live your life together. Many people get so carried away in the "wedding" that they forget that it is only a day, mind you a very special day, but it is one day in your life. If people spent as much time planning the marriage as they did the wedding, I think a lot more married couple would be much happier.

So much time and effort goes into planning the wedding and then no planning goes into the marriage. A successful marriage takes effort and compromise. Its tough some days! There are ups and downs that you go through and if you aren't working together, it will fall part and quickly. Trust me, I have been there. My first marriage fell apart in less than a year! I am so thankful for the lessons that I learned from that marriage, because now I know what it takes to really love someone and to be loved back by them. I am so thankful everyday to have someone in my life who I can just be me with, someone who doesn't judge me if I am having a bad day, but instead knows just what to say to make it all better.

I would say that I am lucky to have had a beautiful wedding and (so far) a great marriage, but I don't think luck has anything really to do with it. Both have been a lot of work and I am receiving back from it what I put in.And like our wedding, our marriage wouldn't be a success either without the support from our family and thank you!!!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Why set goals?

This week my brain has been "spinning" with all the ideas that I have learned from colleagues at a recent Pro-D day. I was really inspired about blogging and how I could integrate that into my kindergarten class...but that will be a whole different post and a whole different blog!!This blog is all about me and the goals that I am currently working on achieving! 

Today I was out for my weekly run (I have just begun training for a 5km) and what better time to think than during a run? I have always been a BIG believer in setting goals and then working to achieve them by setting smaller goals along the way.

Back in January, a group of girls who I train with at Peak Fitness decided to compete in Femsport Kamloops. As I had already successfully competed in this event once, I decided that this year I would set personal goals for each event. I sat down and looked at my previous times and then set realistic goals for each event. At the end of the event I was so proud to not only met my goals, but beat them by what I considered a wide margin.I didn't care where in the standing I placed, because I did what I set out to do.

My kindergarten class knew that I was competing that weekend and when I came back on Monday they asked me how I did. I replied "I beat all the goals that I had set for myself". I was met with confused looks and was asked again, "but how did you do?" I tried to explain to this group of feisty 5 year olds that  doing your best was as important as getting an award, but they just wanted to know if I got a trophy or not! The fact of the matter is I did place 10th and my team came in second, but those were not as gratifying to me as taking 15 seconds off my box jump time was.

This picture was taken after doing 50 box jumps (onto an 18' box) in 54.5 seconds - 15 seconds faster than my Aug 2011 time. I am very proud of this picture!!!

                             Chris (our amazing trainer!), Kaeli, Kristen and I with our 2nd place trophies! :)

Femsport is done, goals were met and now what???

 I have never considered myself a runner. I will say I am built for speed and power and my asthma has always held me back when it comes to any kind of distance run. So my "now what" is to run a 5km race. For many, this may not seem like a huge goal but for me it is monumental! As I said, I have asthma and running is a MAJOR trigger for me, but I also believe that with some training (and lots of support form the people I care about) I CAN do it! 

5 weeks ago I started training for a 5km. People asked me what race I was entering and my reply has always been that I am not training for a race, I am training to complete it! This doesn't mean that I wont enter a race (those who know me, know I am super competitive) but for now I am training for the satisfaction of completing a personal goal at the end of June/early July. 

Today I met a new personal goal, which was this inspiration for this post! Up until now, my 5km training had me running sets of 800m (or 2 laps of the track) and today was the first day of 1200m (3 laps) and I will admit I was worried. To make matters worse, I left my inhaler at home and that freaked me out a bit! I am very proud to say that not only did I do my 3 sets 1200m, I did them and didn't NEED to use my inhaler. While I was running I kept thinking about how far I have come and how I had just reached another personal goal and that feels amazing! 

I leave you this....if you don't have a goal (personal, professional, fitness) what are you working towards and how do you know when you have made it?

My fitness goals - a 5km run on June 24th....whats yours???