The 5th Dimension and more!

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singularity_dynvision

This post is slightly delayed and I do so apologize. I have been tied up with parent conferences (or for any other teachers out there: the 5th Dimension) for the past week or so.

Oh, I’m sorry. When I said 5th Dimension, were you thinking of these guys?220px-5th_Dimension_1969

That probably would have been more exciting. Sorry.

No, conferences,  I must say, are such an interesting concept. They are the same virtually every time. I sit across from one of my students and his/her parents to discuss behavior and grades. Everytime I do one of these I encounter 1 of 3 types of students.

Student Type 1: The Interpreter

I work at a school with quite a large population of English Learners whose parents speak little to no English. Now, whenever I have a conference with these students, they typically translate for me. At first I was skeptical about using the sudents for fear that they would repeat whatever they wanted, but I have come to find that these students relate my words quite faithfully, even the difficult students. Usually the parents smile and nod and are away within a few minutes. Quite a painless operation. 

Student Type 2: The Reformer

This student is the one who sits with his/her parent and get grilled for their behavior or grades. They take the verbal punishment and vow to change. They look their parents in the eyes and promise to come in early to turn in missing work or serve detention. And they do.

For a week.

Then their behavior reverts back to the way it was pre-conference. I never hear from the parents during the year, nor can I get a return phone call or email.

Student Type 3: The Faithful

This student comes to conferences knowing full well what is going to be said for it has been said time and time again. Either they are the top students who are constantly praised or the most difficult who are constantly warned. Parents don’t say much. They nod their head and move on quickly to another teacher.

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Conferences are definitely the 5th Dimension. Something beyond this world that can be counted on time after time to waste time. There exists only the rare occasions where something different comes out of these exchanges, but they are few and very far between.

Anyway, time for the weekly update.

 These conferences have pre-occupied my time, and I have not stuck to my workout routine mostly since I’ve been getting home at 8 pm and crashing an hour later.

Speaking of which, I need to give my shoutout to LMarie for her comment with a great link and great ideas on a new workout routine.

SHOUT OUT TO LMARIE!!!!

I have not started a new one, partly due to conferences, but mostly due to a larger problem that I constantly struggle with. I have always struggled with it. It is the one thing that keeps me from moving forward.

The problem is that when my routine gets messed up, even in the slightest, I tend to get completely discombobulated and defeated. Such as the case has been since Easter.

I had a week off from normalcy and saw my exercise slipping. Then my eating habits started going with it. Then I went back to work and didn’t reset everything. Then I spent time in the 5th Dimension, and here I am on the brink of giving up entirely.

I don’t want to give up.

I don’t want to fail, again.

I don’t want to stay in this current routine.

But I also don’t want to start over from the beginning.

So I’m struggling. I’m struggling the same laziness and poor eating habits that got me here.

Now, I want change. I want to find victory. I want to defeat my weight and have power over it. So, I’m going to push on. No matter what I have to do, I’m going to find my routine again. I’m going find myself weighing less and achieving my goals. I am going to win. And by the grace of God, I am going to do it.

By the Grace of God.

The Beginning

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Running

So, here I am. Doing what I never thought I would do. Sitting at a keyboard, connecting to the world of online media. For most of my adult life I shuddered at the thought of putting myself out there in the digital media realm. What’s changed, you ask? Well, for one thing, I’m being forced to adapt. I spend my days as a dispenser of knowledge and molder of minds for over 150 junior high and high school students. And every day I recognize that my “student” world and theirs are quite distinct. I know, I know, everyone says that. “When I was in school,” begins the old man with a raspy voice and a slight whistle every time he says the letter “s”. “When I was in school, we were never that disrespectful.” “Ok, sure,” I say. But, for me this really is true. (And I only graduated 10 years ago, which is the point of everything you will soon see.)

Anyway, I was sitting at my desk this past week thinking about the ginormous chasm between them and me. (Yeah, I did just use the word ginormous. I like words that are formed from two words that mean the exact same thing.) And I realized that I will never truly understand my students until I understand what they do when they aren’t in my class. And it hit me. They spend much of their time in a disconnected world of online media: facebook, twitter, blogs, etc… (By the way, I say disconnected because in reality, we are only connecting to a computer screen, not really with anyone in particular.) And I, for the most part, on this prior belief, had decided not to engage in such form of entertainment on principle. But as this revelation that this is what separated me from them rolled in my mind, I began to reconsider if this principle was really a hill worth dying on. So, I thought, well if I was to engage in the social media realm, what would I really have to say. I thought and thought, and slept, and thought some more, went running, thought some more, then it dawned on me. I’m not that interesting of a person, but really neither is anyone else. We are all just normal people trying to relate our lives to the rest of the populace. So, I decided to just share me.

Me: I am Justin Sargeant, Christian, husband to an amazing woman, father to (soon to be) two sons, an English teacher, intrepid explorer into the world of social media, and as mentioned above, I am currently approaching my 10 year reunion. I have struggled with weight for just about my entire life. About 2 years ago, after my first son was born, I weighed 260 lbs and the doctor basically told me I was going to lose weight or die. (Maybe not in quite those words.)

Well, just as before, I decided I was going to finally make it happen. My wonderful wife was behind me every step of the way helping me choose good, healthy meals, develop exercise routines and the like. Well, as usual, I struggled to change my mindset and my eating habits. My wife on the other hand (who, by the way, has always had a mind for being healthy) decided she was going to become a runner. In her words she did this because she said, “You’ve never seen a fat runner…” I laughed, mostly because we tried going for a run once, and she couldn’t go more than fifty feet without giving up. Well, something changed in her, and she began doing a program designed to get you to run long distances in about 10 weeks or so. And she did. At her best she was running 45 minutes straight. I was so proud of her. Here was me, this guy who had played baseball, basketball, and football his entire life, not losing weight, and there was my wife, a woman who really didn’t do much sports, running like a beast. I felt disappointed in myself. I felt ashamed. So, I asked her to help me start the same program. And as I began the program, I began noticing that the 30 minutes or so spent listening to music was a nice time-out from life. Yet, I never could seem to keep it going for more than a few weeks. And after a year, of “starting the program,” I still hadn’t run for longer than 10 minutes.Well, around the beginning of this last school year, my wife and I found out we were pregnant again. And I was determined not to gain 30 pregnancy lbs as I had with the first child and actually stick to running. Since then, I decided to dedicate 3 days a week to running the program. I have found myself taking a few weeks off here and there for sickness reasons, but I have not given up.

Yesterday, was a running day. I did not want to go, and actually went out to eat ice cream to deter myself from running. But as we returned and tucked our little guy into bed, I knew deep in me, I would be sorry for not going. So, I put on my running shirt, running pants, brand new running shoes (all of which my beautiful wife bought me for Christmas), nestled ear phones into my ears, and went out into the night to hopefully not throw up. (By the way, I know I just split the infinitive, but sometimes I find it stylish to do so.)

I started running and something just felt different. I didn’t really want to follow my digital coach. I was supposed to run 5 minutes and walk for 3 minutes 4 times, but I just didn’t want to. So, as the first interval came to a close, I kept running. At first, it thought: okay, I will stop at the next lamp post. But when it came, I didn’t feel like it. I kept running. Then the next interval ended without my realizing it, and I had already run one mile. My lungs weren’t burning and my legs weren’t tired so I kept listening to my jams (that’s what I call my running music) and kept running. About that time, it started to rain, and I thought it felt good so I kept running. Eventually, I had run 2 miles and didn’t know it. At about the 2 mile mark, I realized I was soaking wet and probably needed to head home. So, I cut through the park and concentrated on making my way home which was about a quarter of a mile from the park. As I reached the parking lot a few guys called out to me that my wife had been looking for me, worried about me running in the rain or something, and I ignored them and kept running. Eventually, I made it back to my house and stopped my program. It read, 2.98 miles in 31:26. I couldn’t believe it. I have never run that far in my life! I wasn’t even tired; though, I was wet.

Since then it has been on my mind and I’m still amazed I did it. Now as stated above, I am approaching my 10 year reunion. A months ago, I ran into a guy from high school and totally didn’t recognize him. I thought, have I changed that much too, but in a bad way? I weigh 50 pounds more today, than I did when I graduated. 20 of it I gained my first year in college (and not due to the freshman 15), and the other 30 I gained during the pregnancy of my first son. I really don’t want to go back in September and feel as uncomfortable and ashamed as I did the night I ran into my old high school peer. After last night, something inside me has ignited. I realize that if I could accomplish something I never thought possible, like running 3 miles without stopping, then surely I can lose 50 lbs before my reunion. Presently, it is March and I weigh 245 lbs. The reunion is in September, and I want to weight 200 lbs. That gives me 6 months, so roughly, 7 lbs a month. Doable? Possibly, but the only way to find out is to keep going. Keep running and eating healthy. Hopefully this blog can be a record of that achievement and accountability for it too.

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