I try to exercise on a regular basis. During inclement weather months, I usually walk on a treadmill. When I am at my best, I can walk at around 4.2 mph. Sometimes I fall off the wagon and take a lengthy break from walking. After a long break, when I start back on the treadmill, I can barely complete a workout at 2.7 mph. I have lost my strength and endurance.
Being a teacher requires strength and endurance. Being a behavior teacher requires strength, endurance, the ability to make hundreds of decisions per day, the ability to keep dozens of plates spinning, and the ability to monitor multiple conversations, actions, and locations at the same time. It is mentally exhausting.
Over the summer I took a break from mental work. I was supposed to work for the Census, and even did extensive training to do so, but they didn’t have hours for me. Instead of any mental work, I did physical work and my physical endurance is in good shape. My mental strength and endurance have been neglected.
Today I returned to school to get ready for the new year. A variety of people stopped in and there was conversation regarding scheduling, students, programming, and guidelines. My brain balanced the content, conversation, and multiple emails throughout my time there. By the time I left, I was mentally exhausted. When I got home, I considered napping with my shoes on. I crashed for two hours.
Over the summer, I stopped my mental endurance and strength exercises. Mentally, I am at a 2.7, and I have a few weeks to get to 4.2 before the kids arrive. I am going to attempt to ramp-up slowly, but I think it will be more along the lines of going from a short walk, to running the Boston Marathon.