A School Teacher and Track Racer Offers Tips on Doing Both Things—Better


As the 2020 indoor track season commenced, I committed myself to racing a full season since having my son. The years of consistent training postpartum were beginning to click, as well as regaining my confidence on the track with the help from my coach, Sue Deighan, from the Newmarket Huskies. As March approached, I never would have anticipated that would be the last time I saw my teammates and my elementary students for the foreseeable future. Here are some tips to staying positive within your training and keeping kids engaged during remote learning.

My Top 5 Tips for Staying Positive: 

  1. Trust the Process: One thing that has given me comfort during this time is reflecting upon my training over the last few years. Whether it was hill training, speed training on the track, they all had a specific purpose. I am using this time without my team; to explore new trails and routes and return to tempo based workouts versus high intensity. 
  2. Reflect: On days I am feeling less motivated about the unforeseeable future of racing, I look back at my training log, photos from races and practices. I look at my progress and remind myself of the reasons I love the community and the sport. 
  3. Find Some Run Happy: Brooks has been posting a series of challenges. Whether it is a shoe lace tying race or creating your own finish line—viewing people’s posts on social media always gives me a good laugh and puts me in a positive mood before I get out the door for my run. 
  4. Reach Out: Whether it is FaceTiming my teammates, or having Zoom team meetings, it is always nice to talk to teammates and share challenges or positive aspects of your current training.  
  5. Being Thankful: Some days optimism can be bleak, but I try to remind myself about what I am thankful for each day, such as my family. 

5 Tips for Helping Your Kids Learn Remotely: 

  1. Incorporate Your Child’s Interests: Whether it is a creative writing piece or simply teaching your child to write their name, I always like to encourage incorporating individual interests. My son loves creating his own science experiments, so I have him writing his name in shaving cream versus always using a pencil and paper. 
  2. Take Your Classroom Outside: With my son, I will set up a picnic table in our backyard and have him complete activities outside for a change of scenery. I have him use materials around our backyard to make letters of the alphabet! 
  3. Reaching Out to Your Teacher: Reaching out to teachers when your child is struggling or does not fully comprehend a task. They can help to clarify any questions. 
  4. Talking to Peers: Discussing ideas on the phone or through virtual platforms with peers can help to refocus and remotivate students to complete tasks or assignments. 
  5. Get Active with Outdoor Challenges: For science it is always fun to incorporate outdoor hands on activities. For my structures science unit, I have my students building structures outside using materials they found. Having a child even create their own sport

My Brooks teammate, Devan Wiebe, recently found a quote written on a sidewalk that stated “the comeback is always stronger than the setback.” I think it stands as an important reminder to focus on the positive moments in your life or in training. We will all get through this together. Happy Running!

Running photograph by Mitchell Hubble