The most difficult posting I have had to write so far, has been this one. Ever since I arrived home I have been trying to figure out a way to put my experience in words and share it with the world; it is impossible. There are no words to describe the feelings or what I experienced out on the trail.
I was told by several former Iditarod Teachers on the Trail™ this will be a life-changing experience. After only being back for a month, I can honestly say it has been life changing. I have a completely different outlook on education, coaching, and life in general. I have noticed a change in how I teach in the classroom and interact with my students. Once I arrived home I started tennis season. My coaching style and highly competitive attitude changed immediately.
Since I have been back I have been busy writing articles and presenting to a variety of groups in the community. This too, has not been easy. I want people to fully understand the impact this journey has had on my life, but unless they’ve been there, they never will.
One thing, among many, that I enjoy sharing is that the Iditarod is much more than just a dog race. There were so many inspiring people, touching stories and dreams fulfilled. Long-lasting relationships and memories were created that will last a lifetime. I take pride in being able to share the many compassionate stories I witnessed on my journey. These stories have inspired me to continue fulfilling my dreams.
One major impact this journey has had on my life is the importance of turning your dreams into reality. If nothing is done, they stay just that, dreams. Had I not made the decision to look at the application for Iditarod Teacher on the Trail™, my life may be going a completely different way. Making that first step is what started my dream down the path of reality.
I encountered many people along the trail who did not let anything stand in the way of their dreams; money, illness, cancer, disease, and other heavy burdens. It is encouraging to see what some will put themselves through to achieve their ultimate dream.
This journey has helped me understand the importance of encouraging my students to dream and to attempt to make their dreams come true. You should never let anything stand in the way of your dreams. Life is too short to say it can’t be done or it’s too hard. If you want it, go after it and achieve your dreams.