My classes usually begin with a question: what did you do on the weekend? This question serves multiple purposes. It’s a warm up, to get them into speaking English for the next 90 minutes. It’s practice, since the Simple Past tense is always the hardest to master, and finally, it’s a way to connect with the students. We share what we did and sometimes kind of bond over our similarities. I also get topic fodder this way, since the more I know about your life, the more we can use that information in the lessons.

This means that I’ve said the following no less than five time this week: ‘I went running on the weekend’. In response, every time, I’ve heard ‘but isn’t it too cold to go running?

I’m not going to get into the stereotypes of Germans supposedly being able to handle the cold better than us Baltimorons, or the idea that I might just be a human-looking reptile. What I am going to talk about is priorities and the things that happen in our lives.

Generally, the students’ question always gets answered the same way, which is to remind them of the fact that I can’t really run in the summer and that this is the perfect weather for me to run in. Then I get a shudder as they look out the window, as if they can see the cold. It’s been sub-zero here for the past two weeks, with the temperatures being around 11 degrees fahrenheit. It’s cold. I know. And it’s excellent running weather, if you’d just get out there and try it.

I think people forget that your body warms up when you run. Or, you know, do anything that’s not curling up in a ball to die a slow, chilly death.

Sure, I COULD sit around and lament the fact that I can’t run marathons in the summer. I could do that, and actually, I think that I DID do that in the earlier days after my diagnosis. But to sit around feeling sorry for your circumstances is to fight a losing battle, or play a game that you’ll never beat. Instead of being sad about not being able to run in the summer, I’m pretty excited that I get to swim in the summer. Or ride my bike, because then there’s wind, or something like it that cools me down.

I COULD sit around and say that it’s cold outside, or I can relish in the fact that my disease has given me a super-human tolerance for colder temperatures and work it. While the rest of the world is hiding out indoors, on treadmills, looking out of windows in the gym, I’m the only person out running the paths and I have them all to myself. How excellent, right?

A POV change can make all of the difference when we’re dealing with things that might not be optimal.


I have a disease that renders me unable to walk sometimes.
However, it’s not fatal. I won’t die from it. And it forces me to treat myself well.

I can’t push myself to work harder and faster when I’m worn out, or else I could relapse.
However, I can push myself to be more perfect and do things correctly the first time.

My hips are pretty wide and my ass is kind of big.
However, there are chicks who are doing whole workout routines to get this ass. Butt pads exist, and I will never need them.

My boyfriend travels a lot for work.
That may suck and I may miss him a lot, but I get SO MUCH accomplished when he’s not here. AND I get the car:)

You know? Sometimes we just need to look at things from the OTHER side of the ‘problem’.

My teaching schedule is kind of rough. I teach just about every morning from 7:30 – 9, and then I have a HUGE break in the middle of the day until about 4:30, when I teach again until 6. So from about 10 – 4, I’ve got nothing to do.

For the first few months, it was annoying. I tried to fill that time with more classes, but it never works out as well as I’d like, and I would end up with like an hour here and there of down time, carrying all of my books all over the city in between classes.

Then I realized that I could take an intensive language course between those hours and STILL have 2 hours after the class to chill before teaching again. So for 2 months, I filled that space with bettering my German from 10 -2pm, Monday-Friday.

Once that ended, it was hard to fill the time again.

And then, I realized that I could totally fit my workouts in, in the middle of the days. I don’t know about you guys, but I have trouble waking up and working out, and I certainly don’t plan to work out BEFORE my 7:30am classes. So coming home at 10, and going for a run at noon-ish (the warmest point of the day), and then having time to shower and blog before going to classes has turned out to be pretty awesome. And that’s what I’ve been doing.

I know, my schedule is closer to that of a stay-at-home mom than a full-time worker, but the point is to find the things that you can use to your advantage.

Are you looking for a gym, but feel like you don’t have the time to work out? Find a gym on your way to/from work and wait out the rush hour traffic on the treadmill or pushing weights. Or get there BEFORE work starts and shower at the gym before heading on to work!

Are you an insomniac? Find a 24 hour gym or do workouts at home whenever you can’t sleep.

A few free minutes between meetings at your desk? There’s CHAIR YOGA for that.

Stuck at your desk all day? Invest in a Pilates ball or a desk cycle.

Nothing to do for the next three hours? Geez, go take a walk!

What I’m saying is that we could all make excuses for everything that doesn’t seem to be too easy. We could do that, but we’d never see any kind of success.

Stop complaining about your lack of this, that or the other and start taking advantage of everything you DO have at your disposal. Make some damn lemonade. Change your mind, change your life!


About germanymarie

I work hard, and I live hard.

One response »

  1. countrykay says:

    Gaining new perspective is awesome and so eye opening. When I tend to frett about things I try to go at it from a different angle to see if I am as upset about it, presentation sometimes can sway your perspective, I try seeing ‘outside the box’. I love how you have gained new perspective to accept the things in your life that you can’t change. So many people need to read this and hear this and realize the truth in it. We can all waller in our own self pity or we can choose to make a difference or choose to gain a new perspective. Kudos to you for making the better choice of a better tommorow. I can atest to this in my personal life, being a product of rape, I could waller but I’ve accepted what I can’t change & like you we have only room to go up from here! Proud of you GM!

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