Today I bundled up and headed out for a morning run. Most often I’ll cue up my favorite podcast and learn while I run, but today I knew I needed to shut off my mind and just go. I reminisced about my college days running on the cliffs of Point Loma, California with my Discman blaring Counting Crows and James Taylor. People knew me as the “girl who runs”. Running has always been therapeutic for me, a way to run off the stress of life, reflect, and re-energize. My body craves it, and yet I have not always prioritized it in my life. It’s easy to do what’s comfortable, even though we know it may not be what’s best for us.
As I was running this morning, I began to think of the scary leaps ahead of me in my educational journey. I feel like I am standing at the door of a plane ready to dive head first into the unkown. I know it will be exhilarating and awesome once I make the leap, but right now I stand breathless and paralyzed. All of my past insecurities and fears come flooding back as my mind wants to focus on all the “what ifs” when I should be thinking of the “whys”.
Moments like this are humbling. I am a risk taker. I love trying new things and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. I continue to leap, because I’ve experienced the value and the exponential growth it has brought. However, this did not happen overnight. It took one leap, then another, and another, until taking leaps in learning became natural. Looking back, my past leaps seem small, however, at the time they seemed really big...jumping out of an airplane BIG! As I share about risk taking and pushing past the boundaries of what’s possible, I need to remember how scary some leaps are for people and though they may seem like small leaps to me, to others they are ENORMOUS! We all have our fears and insecurities and what is comfortable for me may be paralyzing for someone else and vice versa. In fact to some, leaping out of a plane isn’t scary at all!
I am lucky to have encouraging people in my life. I have an amazing husband and family that cheer me on and dear local and PLN friends that give unexpected words of encouragement just when I most need it, reminding me of my “Why”. It’s amazing to know that others believe in you; cheering you on and ready to celebrate not only when you land, but when you jump! I want to be that same kind of encourager to others, always remembering how scary leaps can be. I want to cheer loudly and celebrate extravagantly the leaps of my colleagues and PLN as well, just as others have done for me.
Today I reflect on my past leaps and how much I’ve grown from each one. Each risk has brought exponential growth, and I know that those to come will be no different. Sometimes we need to look back on how far we've come to give us courage to keep moving ahead in our journey. I am encouraged in my educational journey by the words of so many that I highly respect:
“Being overwhelmed can lead to so much doubt. But even as I struggle with doubt from time to time, I’ve learned not to allow it to take root in my life. The way to beat it is to surround yourself with others who will remind you that you matter, that your work matters, and that you are making a difference”
-Adam Welcome #KidsDeserveIt
“We are each uniquely designed and have strengths that are specific to us as individuals. It’s like the beads in an old-school kaleidoscope toy; no two combinations are ever equivalent.”
-Tara Martin #REALedu #BookSnaps
“You can offer no finer gift or higher honor to the world than to find out what your drum is and then play it for all it’s worth.”
-Dave Burgess #TLAP
"You may feel like you have nothing to say, but you do have a story to tell”
-George Couros #InnovatorsMindset
“You don’t have to go as fast as everyone else, find your own rhythm.”
-Dan Tricarico #TheZenTeacher
“Perhaps not everyone can change the world, but everyone can make a positive influence in the world and in the lives of those around them.
-Jennifer Casa-Todd #SocialLEADIA
“Life is all about leaving a legacy”
-Michael Matera #XPLAP
Grab your parachute and take the leap!
Cheer on and celebrate others that are leaping too!
We all need to have people that believe in us!
Tech Integration Specialist in Southern Oregon and author of Make Learning Magical. I'm passionate about finding innovative ways to transform teaching and create unforgettable experiences in the classroom.