Before every race, my dad always reminds me, “You’ve gotta be sweating at the line.” Although this is not the most charming image, he makes a good point. By this, he means that unless you have broken a sweat in your warm-up, you aren’t ready to be at the starting line. His infamous phrase implies the value of both physical and mental preparation for the race ahead. I find myself recalling my dad’s words not only before a run, but at all the various starting lines in my life. First, there was the starting line of acceptance to RIC, then came FSEHD, PLTs, and the first lessons I taught in MLED 330 and SED 407. Now, creating a Twitter handle, posting a blog, and introducing myself as a teacher candidate in Mr. Ryan’s classroom at North Providence High School – there are starting lines everywhere I look. Right now I’m still cozy with my swishy sweatpants and jacket, but soon I will be jogging around, getting my heart rate up, and stripping off those layers. Luckily I have my teammates (all of you fellow TCs), my coaches (shout out to Coach Cook and Coach Johnson), some supportive fans (thanks Mom, Dad, Cam, and the rest of my RIC family), and my running buddy (Katie, we got this!). With Mr. Ryan helping to pace us, I couldn’t feel more eager to get going. What text is he teaching? Who are his students? How does he motivate them and push their thinking? I know it’s not always going to be a walk in the park, because, as my dad also says, racing isn’t necessarily comfortable. It’s about pushing yourself, trusting your training, listening to your coaches, working up the hills, and recovering on the other side. As I’ve said before, it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Some miles will be better than others. It is with this distance runner mindset that I am approaching practicum and student teaching. I’ve triple-knotted my laces and I’m ready to go!