The Rest of My Life

Be Inspired: Devin

If we’re connected on social media then you probably know I’ve been working on a running streak.  This weekend I hit 120 consecutive days of running and throughout this journey I’ve looked to other runners for inspiration.  So I was absolutely delighted to “meet” Devin a couple of weeks ago after I saw her Instagram post where she shared her, “big, hairy, audacious goal,” of running ten half-marathons during the 2015-2016 school year.  Since y’all know how much I love big, scary dreams/goals I need I had to interview Devin for the Be Inspired series!  I can relate to the dream she’s currently pursuing because I taught middle school for seven years after college…and my first was crazy difficult!

You can connect with Devin on her blog or on Twitter.

It is my hope that you leave this blog feeling inspired.  Whether you spend 2 minutes reading the blog every month or check the blog on a daily basis, it is my hope that when you click away from my site you leave inspired.  Inspired to try something new.  Inspired to step out of your comfort zone.  Inspired to embrace a new challenge.  Inspired to make a difference.  Inspired to dream big and chase those dreams.  Inspired to live life a little bit different.  Inspired to be the best you possible.  This series introduces you to people and stories that inspire me and it is my hope that they will inspire you as well.

Meet Devin…

Be Inspired by Devin from Ohm & Split Pea
Be Inspired by Devin from Ohm & Split Pea

What dream are you currently pursuing?
Teaching! All my life I knew I was meant to be a teacher. I’m not going to lie, my first year of teaching was rough. To the point that I completely gave up and called it quits and set out to find a new life purpose. However, after some soul searching I realized I’m meant to be in a classroom. I took a leap of faith in myself and moved to a new school in a new city and started fresh. It was the best decision I have ever made!
What is your biggest dream?
My biggest dream is to inspire other people to implement mindful practices into their lives. Practicing mindfulness daily has completely transformed me, allowed me to create a life filled with joy and happiness. I recently created a curriculum that aligns mindfulness with leadership skills in my classroom. I’ve loved watching my students grow into mindful, little leaders. Ultimately, a big goal of mine is to travel and empower other teachers to introduce this approach in their classrooms as well. Perhaps write a book to go with the journey!
What accomplishment are you most proud of in your life?
I am surrounded by gratitude for SO much. However, I’d have to say I feel most accomplished when I reflect on overcoming an eating disorder. I battled with disorder eating habits for 10+ years. I was a compulsive exerciser to the point that I dropped down to 90-something pounds. Practicing mindfulness allowed for me to develop a strong sense of self respect, which in turn empowered me to create new, healthful habits. I saw my body in a new light, as my temple. Rather than exercise to control my body, I now exercise to honor my body.
Who has been an inspiration to you and how have they inspired you?
My parents have been my biggest inspiration. Growing up, my mom battled many health issues. Watching her and my dad overcome multiple life obstacles together, with love, was a prime example of perseverance. Not only did they empower each other with compassion, but they showed unconditional love and support for all their children. It allowed for me to build that trust in myself, in my journey.
How do you handle obstacles that arise as you pursue your dreams?
I’ve learned to always, always go back to my breath. I can’t control the obstacle that will be thrown my way. But, I can control my reaction. So, I choose to allow my breath to keep me calm and accept the obstacles that are present. Then, I reflect on where to go next. What’s a journey without a few bumps in the road, anyway?!
Can you share five interesting facts about yourself?
1. My favorite date spot is Barnes and Nobles. Adam and I can spend hours in a good book store.
2. On the side of teaching I’m a CrossFit coach. CrossFit was a big stepping stone in my journey to overcoming my eating disorder, so I love empowering others to strengthen their bodies and minds through this sport.
3. I have a boxer mix named Pood who fills my heart with so much joy. He’s the only dog I’ve ever met who actually grins when me and his dad enter the room.
4. I have a fabulous relationship with my yoga mat, Split Pea. I step on my mat daily, whether its to stretch, workout or meditate. My mat helps me stay grounded and present.
5. I’ve recently rebuilt a healthy relationship with running and am SO excited to be striving for a big goal this year: I’ll be running 10 half marathons…one each month of the school year! Each race will be dedicated to a group of students. I’ll be sharing my journey with my class to inspire and guide them in goal setting and perseverance.

What is one big, hairy, audacious goal you have?

 

22 Comments

  • Stacey

    Oh, I enjoyed this post! I’m a middle school teacher and am always busy setting fitness goals for myself. Devin is working hard to be her best – a true inspiration. Thanks for sharing.

  • Kirsten

    Loved reading this interview. Nothing like pursuing your goals and going after them. As a fellow teacher, I know that first year can be tough, but hope she hangs in there.

  • Jaclyn

    Ahhh I feel like everyone’s first year of teaching really sends them for a loop! I actually ended up as a director at Sylvan Learning Center, which was a leap for me since I was set on teaching in a classroom. It has been the most amazing career decision I ever could have made. Sometimes the unexpected can really bring you to your destiny! I hope teaching gets even better for you!

    • jmdenouden@gmail.com

      My first year of teaching was so incredibly difficult…most days I went home and cried myself to sleep!

  • Lux

    I enjoy reading this. I got to know you better. You know, I wish to find someone I can get lost in a bookstore too. That would be total bliss for sure. 🙂

  • Shelly

    Growing up, I had always wanted to become a teacher. Then my senior year hit and my mind changed very quickly. I kept telling myself that I wouldn’t be able to handle that many kids. I kept weighing the pros and cons of elementary vs secondary education. Some days I regret not following my dreams, but then I tell myself, everything happens for a reason. If I was meant to be a teacher, I would have become one. I don’t worry so much anymore. I’ve come to accept things and live by the slogan, “Life is a journey. Enjoy the ride.”

    • jmdenouden@gmail.com

      I agree, that things work out the way they are supposed to. Growing up I wanted to be a teacher. And I was…for 7 years. But now my life has gone in a different direction…and that’s okay!

  • Rebecca

    I couldn’t image running 1 let alone 10, that’s just simply amazing! Good luck in achieving your goals, it sounds like you’re the type of person who will let nothing stand in her way!

    • jmdenouden@gmail.com

      I am a runner and I am quite impressed with the goal to run 10…can’t wait to follow Devin’s progress!

  • Jeannine

    Another great post! I love what Devin says about her relationship with her yoga mat. Even if it meditation she has set a daily goal to bring health, wellness and well-being into her life. Great idea. Thanks for sharing her inspiring story.

    My big, hairy, audacious goal right now is this eBook. I love to write in spurts as with the blog, sitting down to write a composed piece has taken every ounce of well being I have. I set a timeline and goals to help get me through it. It is not as easy as I thought it would be. But I will do it and be fabulous at it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.