Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Challenge

Recently, I signed up for a 90 day weight loss challenge at my gym. It feels strange even saying that because at one time I was in really good shape. With athletics in high school, working as a lifeguard in college and coaching wrestling while I was teaching, I maintaned good health and fitness for many years. Twenty years and a few stresssful life events later, I now have a lot more extra weight than I would like and my doctor advising weight loss. For the past several years, I've tried to do what had worked in the past. Watch what I eat for a bit and exercise 43 my body doesn't shed the pounds like it used to. I needed a jump start, a challenge. The 90 day challenge offered me a format that appealed to my competetive nature and with a weekly weigh in there was accountability. I realize I'm going against conventional wisdom by posting this at the beginning of my challenge and not at the end. I could look pretty silly if I don't lose any weight.  I'm okay with that. I'd rather put it out there and take a risk. Modeling risk taking is part of my job.

Most of my exercise each week consists of swimming. As I was splashing away and feeling very unfit the other evening, I was reminded of my time as a lifeguard at the community pool. Every day a middle aged doctor from the local hospital would come in to swim on his lunch hour. We all knew him well and just called him Doc. Doc would smack the water loudly with his hands and had a stroke that made it look like he was about to drown . And he was slow. It took him twice as long as any other swimmer to do a lap. His slow motion, splashing, strokes were a sight to be seen. But he was consistent. Swimming slowly and out of breath the other night, I kept thinking of how I was now the "Doc" of the pool. The more I thought about it, the more I began to appreciate Doc. He was consistent, he was working to better himself, and he never quit. I was starting to appreciated the things I couldn't appreciate as a college student. Being the Doc of the pool didn't seem all that bad now.

As educators, we may feel beat down from time to time or that we don't have the bursts of energy that we once had. That's okay. Education (and life) is about keeping at it, splashing away, and never stopping moving forward (even if it's slower than we we would like). I'm taking on this challenge because I want to improve my health. Who knows? If I'm successful at this it may give me more energy for my family and for school. I know I can't create any more time, so I'll focus on creating more energy instead. I don't believe in quick fixes and this 90 day challenge may or may not be as successful as I'd like. However, I will take a lesson from Doc and I'll keep moving forward and making waves as I go!

My 90 Day Challenge Bracelet


"Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly." - Robert F. Kennedy

"Not to be in your comfort zone is great fun." - Benedict Cumberbatch

"The habits of a vigorous mind are born in contending with difficulties." - Abigail Adams

A great reminder of WHY we do what we do! (3 minutes) 


Tuesday, February 23: 100th Day of School! (100 Ties will be on display in the office)
Wednesday, February 24: IEP (Shannon/Sherry Lynn) 8:20 am
                                          Lock Down Drill 10:30 am
                                          REED (Shannon/Sherry Lynn) 2:30 pm
                                          PTA Founder's Day Dinner 6:30-8:30 pm
Thursday, February 25: Staff Meeting with Andrea Oquist 8:00 am

Monday, February 29: Before School Math Club starts back up
                                     March is Reading Month Assembly 10:00 am (all students)
                                     Pizza Order forms due
Tuesday, March 1: Shadow a Student Day (I will be out of the office all day)
                               District School Improvement Team 5:30-7:30 pm
Wednesday, March 2: REED (Shannon/Lynn) 8:20 am
                                    Student of the Month Assembly 3:00 pm
Thursday, March 3: Staff Meeting 8:00 am
                                 Elementary Principals Meeting 1:00-4:30 pm
                                 PTA Meeting 6:30 pm
Friday, March 4: Jon in Lansing for MEMSPA board meeting (DeAnn Urso on call)


  1. "I can't create more time, but I can create more energy." This is what it's all about, Jon! Best wishes to you on this journey. Be prepared for speed bumps to appear immediately to test your commitment. :-) Just face it and keep going.
    I believe in you!

  2. Good luck! I will join you. Today will be my day 1.