…reflections, life lessons and the sharing of valuable resources…by Stacey James McAdoo
“What if we, as a nation, would have spent the first month or so of the coronavirus pandemic working on getting healthier?” was a question I heard a guest on a late-night news show pose to the anchor. Those words reverberated in my head repeatedly and ultimately helped me kick my life back in gear.
Before taking the sabbatical to fulfill my duties as the 2019 Arkansas Teacher of the Year, running or cycling was how I started or ended most days. As my obligations expanded and travel increased, the 5ks that I ran three times a week for maintenance and the 20-mile relaxing bike rides along the river quickly became memories of the past. Making myself (and my health) a priority took a backseat. By the time the pandemic rolled around, I was 25 pounds heavier, and the daily COVID-19 updates constantly left me feeling scared and completely helpless.
While there is no 100% foolproof way to avoid getting sick or catching Covid, we know that healthier people have a better chance of surviving. So armed with that knowledge in mind, I set out to make some changes in hopes of beating a pandemic and surviving a system that was designed to take me out. I enrolled in The Science of Well-Being (offered by Yale for free online), participated in a 21-day meditation challenge, and joined Girl Trek’s 21 Day Black History Bootcamp. During resistance training and learning about Olive Morris with Girl Trek founders Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison, the idea for A Mile In My Shoes was birthed.
A Mile In My Shoes is a podcast that features one-mile walk and talks with various guests who are making moves to improve themselves and the world around them. Season One highlights esteemed educators from various disciplines and districts who freely share life lessons, reflections, and valuable resources. When I started this project, I thought it would be beneficial for the teacher cadets (high school juniors and seniors) and novice teachers I’ll be working with in the fall. The plan was to build lessons and professional development around the content and resources shared. And while I am still excited about that prospect, I am more excited about the joy that A Mile In My Shoes has brought me. It turns out, the accountability, connection, and fresh air were precisely what I needed.
To learn more about the podcast, visit https://anchor.fm/stacey-mcadoo.
*Stacey James McAdoo, the 2019 Arkansas Teacher of the Year (affectionately referred to as 2019ATOY), is the sponsor of the spoken word collective called Writeous Poets from Little Rock, Arkansas. For seventeen years she served as an Oral Communications instructor and AVID Coordinator at the historic Little Rock Central High School. She currently teaches future teachers in the Excel program and is the Novice Teacher Mentor for the Little Rock School District where she continue to be the living embodiment of her ATOY platform of using passion and poetry to close the opportunity gap.*