Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Walking Toward Running - Small Victories

About two years ago, I was frustrated with my weight and my poor health. I sensed that it was limiting me to a sedentary life with no energy to fight disease and obesity.

My husband tried to convince me to join a gym. At the time, I remember walking into the gym and feeling like the only people I saw there were young and in great shape. (Of course, this wasn't true. I eventually joined the gym and there are members of all ages, sizes and physical abilities who exercise there.)

My trainer has supported me along the way. He figured out what I needed to work on and challenged me to go one step further every time I met a new challenge. The past two years have been a compilation of many small victories.

The first time I learned to use a particular machine. 

The first time I could actually breath after a couple minutes on the treadmill. 

Each time I moved to a heavier weight. 

When I lengthened the time I could do a plank. 

When I used the ropes. 

When I increased my time and distance on the row machine. 

Many small victories that added up. 

So my drive to the gym each day is not filled with dread but with an obsession for those small successes. I feed on those small victories that take me to another level.

I learned ways to challenge myself on the treadmill:

   increasing the time, speed and level of incline 

   learning to breathe 

   increasing the number of calories spent

   building stamina.

Recently, I made up my mind that I wanted to try running. I have never been convinced that I could actually run on the treadmill.  My knees are not in great shape and it scared me. But, I wanted another small victory. So I stepped up the speed and tried to run for a minute. Then another minute. I was running!!!!

Now it was only a small victory but it will keep me going. I will be reaching out for more small victories as I increase my running time, speed and distance.

So there must be a lesson to be learned here. 

   How many small victories will it take to keep   
   our students going in the classroom? 

   How can we promote the small victories that
   lead to an obsession for learning? 

   Which students need more small victories than 

I walked... and walked... and walked... toward running. Small victories. I am celebrating the journey and taking the next leap. Isn't learning grand!


  1. I applaud your small victories, which actually don't sound that small. Thank you for the thought-provoking questions about the end and moving my mind from how I need to get back in the gym to how I might also win in the classroom! Well sliced!

  2. Thank you for writing what I needed to read today. I, too, am walking toward running. Today, I wanted to give up. I'm so tired of striving, but I love your reminder that every step counts.

  3. What an awesome inspirational slice. I was running a couple years ago, and I have tried to get back to it -- and this spring I am determined to do it for sure. Stamina is a powerful word -- and the idea of small victories that add up. Go you! I will think of you as I try to start my journey to a healthier me again.

  4. It is really how we learn anything, isn't it? I worry kids see a goal or learning had something that happens quickly and easily. They assume there is something wrong with them if they don't succeed right away. We all need to share and allow students to experience these small victories -- they also add up to self-esteem, motivation, and perseverance. So smart -- love the connection. Could be a Big Fresh...