You just have to keep on keepin’ on.
I first heard that phrase when I was helping Ellen Taussig put together a memorial for her husband, Paul Raymond. Paul and Ellen, along with Mark and Catherine Terry, founded and built The Northwest School, where I was employed at the time. I’d never heard that saying until I heard taped memoirs Paul had made about his life.
Paul was a child of the Depression. Apparently, that saying was something Paul’s mother used to help the Raymond family put one foot in front of the next. We just have to keep on keeping on.
Paul, by the time I met him in the last years of his life, was the grand old man of the school. No one left the lunch table until Paul did because he always had something interesting to say, even if it was a bit too liberal for even liberal little ol’ me. He was full of stories about his long and very remarkable life. He was a lifelong and passionate fighter for equal rights, social justice, and the environment. He had helped to found a really remarkable school, where everyone is welcome and everyone has a stake in the community. Max, you want to wear a prom dress, a beard, and combat boots every day of your junior year? No problem! Amy, is that another new tattoo? Great! Sayuri, you want to start a composting program at the kitchen? Go for it! Altogether, Northwest is an inspiring place.
I loved my time at The Northwest School. I feel like I learned more from being the Technology Coordinator than I actually gave. But, that’s frequently the nature of teaching. Often, you learn more from your students than they learn from you.
Fitness and weight wise, I’ve been on a plateau for a while now. I haven’t gained any but I’m not losing, either. Paul would say that you just need to keep on keeping on, and he would be absolutely right, but…
When you are on a plateau, you can do one of two things to change your trajectory. You can consume fewer calories (i.e. eat less, and that’s just not happening because I eat pretty well) or you can exercise more. For me, that means getting more steps in. It’s been so warm that it shouldn’t be a problem except that the Lab with neurological problems can’t go far in the heat, the Lab mix is eight going on nine and is slowing down, and the other Lab could go forever except, she’s black. The heat and sun just kill her, too. So, I’m working to find creative ways to get more steps. I walk to the grocery store every day, at least once (when you forget the list, repeat trips are almost guaranteed), I try to park as far away from the front door of a store as I can (pro tip: you waste less gas if you just park instead of driving around looking for that close spot!), and I try to get to the gym a few minutes early and walk around the neighborhood. I have a friend who just recently got a FitBit and she told me that, one night, she was less than 100 steps from her goal. So, she walked around her kitchen (at midnight) to meet her goal. I have to admit, I’ve been known to do that, too!
I’m working to break through the plateau. I know these happen. I’ve been through them before.
In the words of Mrs. Raymond, “You just have to keep on keepin’ on.”
— By Cheryl Wolotira
This is the latest in a series of fitness columns by Cheryl Wolotira, a retired educational technologist and middle school teacher. She is married, the mother of two adult children and three Labs. Cheryl loves to read, is a keen traveler, an enthusiastic consumer of technology, and is passionate about food and wine, which is why she has to exercise.
Cheryl is working with Pritam Potts, owner of Edmonds-based Advanced Athlete LLC, to reach her fitness goals.