Saturday, April 18, 2015

More than a runner

If you haven't figured it out by now, blogging is kind of like therapy to me. Running is usually my "out," but when that is not an option (for whatever the reason may be), my mind naturally starts over thinking and I become preoccupied with the "when can I return to running?"

Over  these past few weeks, I've tried to focus on the positives.

Less working out means I can spend more time doing other things.

Throughout these past few weeks, I've realized that I am more than just a runner. I think so many of us runners (and even triathletes) feel such a strong attachment to the running community that "running" feels like it defines us.

Yes, we are runners, but we are so much more than just runners.

Sometimes, injuries or unexpected circumstances allow us the opportunity to define ourselves in other ways.

I have been able to see myself as a teacher, not just helping my students learn math, but making connections with these students and making them change their attitudes about math, and school in general. Every Friday, I have my students fill out an "Exit Ticket" and always include an "Anything else Mrs. Giuliano should know?" section as I know how important it is, particularly in this day and age, that students DO feel like they can confide in a teacher, and sometimes it's easier to send an email than talk to a teacher face to face. This past week, I had two students answer this question by telling me that they hated math until this year. To say that this made my heart melt would be an understatement as I truly had tears in my eyes reading that. Most teachers enter the profession to make impacts on students and help them become learn skills that will prepare them for the real world, but to hear that these students at one point hated math and are now liking

I have also been able to see myself as a "housewife" over these past few days. Normally, Ryan would prepare dinner for us, partially because I'd get home so late after teaching then training (but also because he is truly the better cook out of the two of us). Over these past few weeks, I have been able to help more in the kitchen and have been better at cleaning up messes I would normally make when rushing to pack things for the busy week ahead.

I have been able to be a better friend. Texts and emails sometimes would get "marked as unread" so that I would get back to them when I had "time." I have been much better about communicating with those who text/email me these days, which has really deepened my relationship with these people.

I have been able to be a better coach. I absolutely LOVE training people (regardless of age or sport) and would make it my full-time job in a heartbeat if I could. Over these past few weeks, I have been able to really focus on the "why's" of workouts I'm providing and give my trainees more tips on things to help them improve in their sport.

I have been able to be a better colleague. I have been able to let my mind focus more on school-related things over these past few weeks so that it is not focused on running/triathlon and I think that I have come up with some of the best ideas ever to improve my teaching and learning process.

I have been able to be more relaxed. As silly as this sounds, and Ryan would completely confirm this, when I am tri or run training during the school year, I am crazy. I rush from one thing to another and that definitely stresses me out sometimes. Not having to rush home after track practice to swim/bike/run has made me more relaxed.

So you see, there are SO many other things that we who define ourselves as "runners" or "triathletes" really are. As exciting as it is to be referred to as "that runner" or "that triathlete," there are so many other ways in which we are valued.

While injuries and set backs are incredibly upsetting, it is so important to focus on the positives and see the values that you bring to the world outside of the sport. Once you can do this, not only does your mind find healing, but your body also is able to better heal itself as well since you are not stressed about coming back. Easier said than done, but I truly believe we must focus on the power of positivity.

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