Well, it’s official. Shelly and I have submitted our resignations; we’re officially quitting our teaching jobs to follow our dreams of becoming nomadic running hobos.
Actually, we’re not quite hobos. We’ll be traveling the country to conduct various barefoot and minimalist shoe running events (clinics/workshops/group runs) and participating in a variety of races. We’re partnering with our friends at Merrell for this adventure, so the majority of the races will be Merrell-sponsored and the clinics/workshops/group runs will be organized through Merrell retailers.
While the decision to leave our teaching jobs was incredibly difficult, we simply could not pass up this opportunity. Shelly and I have been on a journey of self-improvement for a few years now, and various events came together to make this opportunity possible. We get a lot of questions regarding why we decided to do this. Here are the major reasons:
1. We wanted to do what we love. We both love teaching. We also love running and travel. This adventure gives us the opportunity to do all three.
2. We wanted to spend more quality time together as a couple. Even though we work at the same school, it is difficult to make time to spend together. This gives us the opportunity to seek out new adventures and share the experience.
3. We wanted to spend more quality time with our children. Right now, our lives are based around the hustle and bustle of work. Most of our time with our kids is spent battling them to get ready for school/daycare or bedtime. We get a yearly taste of uninterrupted time with them during the summer, and decided we wanted more of that. It will also give us the chance to test our “roadschooling” skills.
4. Teaching as a profession is going downhill, at least in the present. We both love working with kids. That love has kept us in the profession for many years. However, the constant eroding of pay, benefits, retirement, respect, and overall security has made teaching a less-than-stellar profession. We can still get the experience of teaching by doing what we love in a much more positive environment. We’ll both miss the kids; they’re definitely the best part of teaching. It is ultimately what has kept us in our jobs for as long as we’ve been here. Unfortunately, the profession has changed enough to the point where it is nearly impossible to reach all kids. I’ve been getting a growing sense that we’re doing more harm than good in some cases, and losing access to the resources that would allow us to change course. That, combined with the financial reality of the situation, made the decision easier. Relying on our own entrepreneurial skills has brought us much more short and long-term security than placing our fate in the hands of the State of Michigan (yes, that is a jab at the bastards running our state.)
5. Life is too short to not follow your dreams. Over the last few years, we’ve had a few reminders that life is way too short to spend time doing something that isn’t bringing you joy. We assessed what we liked to do and what we did not like to do. We eliminated that which we did not like and replicated that which we do like. The result is this adventure.
There are a lot of other reasons, but these are our primary motives.
Is this change scary? Surprisingly, no. We’re excited about the prospect of getting to meet so many of our online friends. We’re also excited about the opportunity to see a good portion of our country. Mostly, we’re excited about doing something WE really want to do, even if it seems absolutely crazy to most.
By far the worst part will be moving away from friends and family. This would always be an issue when people move away. On the positive side, we’ll be back in Michigan at least once and probably more since we’ll be mobile.
We’ll be documenting the running elements of our adventures here at BRU. We’ll also be documenting the non-running stuff on our other blog Robillard Adventures. Shelly will also document her perspective on her own blog. Our specific race schedule is more or less set, though some events are tentative. Our clinic/workshop/group run schedule is still being determined. We will conduct these events between the races we’ll attend. If you live in an area we’ll be passing through, ask your local Merrell retailer about hosting an event. They can contact me or their Merrell tech rep for more information.
Shelly and I are really looking forward to the opportunity to meet many of you… try to make it out to the events!