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People have occasionally remarked that they can’t imagine how I’m able to manage everything that I do. As if being a tenured Biology Professor, Department Chair, and parent of three active young kids isn’t enough to fill my time, I’ve layered on top of that writing a book and managing a very active blog. Oh, and let’s not forget fitting in time to run and practice Taekwondo!
Something’s gotta give. I’ve spent a great deal of time over the past 6 months contemplating my future, largely because as this blog has grown, it has occupied more and more of the empty space in my schedule, to the point where it is now encroaching on the “already filled” space (e.g., I haven’t been able to fit in a run yet this week, and I’m about 2 months behind on responding to email!). I often tell people that I essentially work two full-time jobs – this blog occupies an enormous amount of my time.
The problem is that I love trying out and writing about running shoes. I love running. I love reading and writing about the science of running. I love working with individual runners to help with shoe choice, injury, and training issues. These are the topics that occupy my mind most of the day.
I’m also quite lucky to have a very stable and secure job, and it’s a job that I’ve done quite well at. I truly love teaching, and working with students in the classroom is what I enjoy most about my day job. However, there are aspects of my job that I could do without, as any college professor would probably agree. One simple aspect is that I’m tired of spending 1-1.5 hours in the car every day commuting to and from the office. Another is that I simply don’t fit the Academic mold all that well, but that’s a story for another day.
I’m in the process now of contemplating the future. Most people in Academia would tell me that I’d be nuts to give up a tenured professorship (not to mention salary and benefits) to be a blogger, and they’d be right. But this blog is currently my passion, and writing about science here is just teaching in a different way. Runblogger has grown to the point where it is now generating enough income to make me think seriously of becoming a full-time blogger – it’s not a sure bet yet by any means, but given more time to put into it I think I might be able to get by.
So this is where I am right now, and forgive my rant, but I needed to put some thoughts out there. This blog is my sounding board, and my place to let thoughts escape the confines of my brain. I’ve decided to apply for an unpaid leave of absence from my academic position for a year to sort things out a bit. I also have a business opportunity that I’m very excited about that would involve doing what I love most, and you’ll be hearing more about that in the coming months.
I’ve decided, as I have always done, to follow my passion. Sometimes the safe path isn’t the best path, and I’ve gotten along well so far in this life by following my gut. My gut right now is telling me to run and write and be around more for my kids while they are young. I may be crazy, but that’s my style
Thanks for listening!