I've been spending some time reflecting back on the last six years (!) that have passed since January 2014 (post here) marked my return to college thirteen years after taking a break from my degree. Here I sit in January of 2020 with a year and a half of teaching under my belt - wondering and dreaming of what this year will look like (post here). 2020 also marks the start of a new decade.
Within my annual New Years post, I had the desire to read more, and to do more. After I wrote the post, I spent time thinking about what that truly could and should look like - especially through the filter of a new decade and starting anew and renewed. In the theme of going back into the archives for content, I wrote a post, "Get Back On The Bike!". In the post I reflected on my love of bike riding, writing, and podcasting - all things that would qualify as 'hobbies'. What I learned back in 2018 was that I needed to have pressure releasing valves to help me deal with the stress of school, field experiences, and life in general. I renewed my goals of riding my bike more, writing more, and podcasting more.
As you can probably imagine, I started off strong then fell apart farther down the path. Part of it was weather, part of it was time management, and part of it was just me letting the tiredness win. In this, my second year of teaching, I've learned I need to put these things back on the front burner and start the defrosting process to bring them back to a full boil.
It's something I would add to the chorus of voices to all future, new, and even current teachers - find your bikes and get back on them. We all need to release the stress, the pressure, and the anxiety that comes with becoming and then being a teacher - and we all do it in different ways. You'll hear plenty of folks on Teacher Twitter advocating one thing or another as the thing to do - but that's not your bike(s). You have things that help that pressure be equalized - be it yoga, running, biking, writing, reading, swimming, strength training, and more.
The other part of this is the more obvious - making sure it sticks, holds, and doesn't fall back off the metaphorical wagon. For this you have to ask for help - seek out an accountability partner. Better yet - have several. I am going to be using my wife's help in the coming year along with several coworkers who are going to either be working out with me, or checking in with me to make sure I'm doing the things I need to do. Habit based New Year's resolutions are the only way for things to take shape and hold that shape.
So get back on your bike(s). Keep riding them. Get help from others to make sure your riding. Get others to ride with you. Don't give up. Don't stop. And if you do, get back up on that bike, and ride it with a vengeance.