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On Blogging, Burnout, and Life

LarsonsI nearly pulled the plug on this blog last Fall. The fact that I didn’t is largely attributable to the support of my wife and my family. I feel compelled to mention them at the beginning of this post since they are far wiser about issues of life than I am, and they deserve credit for the fact that this site still exists, and that I am writing this post.

I left my job as a college professor to become a full-time blogger in May of 2013. For the first year and a half or so, blogging life was pure joy. I loved the freedom of being my own boss – I had complete control over my schedule, what I wrote about, and so on. I had turned my hobby into my job, and things were going very well. I had replaced my professor salary (and then some), site traffic was growing nicely, and I was running as much as I ever had. Sounds like a perfect life, right?

Things started to change early last summer. One of my personality traits is that I am a perfectionist. I feel a need to excel at anything I do, whether it be school, work, running, etc., and I push myself to the limit to achieve success in each of these endeavors. This internal drive started taking over my approach to blogging, and things started to spiral out of control. This blog started taking over my life.

There’s something to be said for hard work, but when work takes over your life it can become toxic. I felt compelled to write 4-5 blog posts per week, and I was spending much of my Sunday morning putting together weekly roundup posts. I spent ridiculous amounts of time managing advertising, attending to my Facebook and Twitter accounts, and responding to comments. And don’t even get me started on email. Add in side projects like my work in the gait clinic, coaching, and some web design projects, and the end result was pretty much inevitable.

By last summer, it had gotten to the point where there was really no dividing line between my work life and my non-work life. My wife would have to pull me from the computer to come to dinner, and I’d spend both my mornings and evenings on the iPad sifting through my various social media feeds. I worked while on vacation, listened to podcasts about work while I ran, and when I wasn’t able to work I stressed about it. It was all-consuming, and it was extremely unhealthy.

On top of working, I was also running myself into the ground. I had decided to try to run the Vermont 50K in the Fall, and this necessitated running a lot of miles in the heat of summer, and I don’t handle summer running particularly well. There were a few times when I think I nearly ran myself into heat exhaustion. I’ve alluded to this a few times in previous posts, but I’m pretty sure I had crossed the line into overtraining.

The combination of overwork and overtraining heaped an enormous amount of stress onto both my mind and my body, and cracks started to form last July. The cracks widened over the next few months until I pretty much shattered. I simply couldn’t take it anymore. I was anxious, depressed, unhappy, and something needed to change or things were going to get really ugly.

Around this time, my sister sent me a link to an article about blogger burnout. Turns out this is not an uncommon phenomenon, and I could relate to a lot of the issues discussed in the piece, particularly the following passage:

“A passion turns into a hobby, which becomes a full-time career. And in some predictable period of time it consumes your life and sucks the joy out of it.”

I started running as a way to get healthy. It turned into a passion, and I started this blog as a hobby to write about that passion. I never expected this site to grow the way it did, and it was never my intention at the outset for it to ultimately become a job. But it did become my job, and it turns out that feeling like I had to run because I needed to do so for work sucked a lot of the joy out of it. It’s like the book you had to read for high school English class vs. the book you picked up yourself because it looked interesting. Both might be great pieces of literature, but I always preferred the book I chose myself.

As the joy of running began to dissipate, so did the joy in writing about running. And by Fall I really didn’t want to do either any more. I had come to resent both running and writing. I neglected my email and social media, skipped the Fall race, and pretty much shut myself down to the bare minimum needed to keep things going. Turns out I’m a pretty awful boss when I’m the only employee.

As mentioned, I largely credit my wife with keeping me from pulling the plug entirely and checking out. She’s the spiritual one in this relationship, and she kept telling me that things happen for a reason. That we face challenges in life so that we can grow as a result. And she’s right.

Taking on this blog full-time allowed me to escape another job that I had started to resent. I loved being a teacher, but there were a lot of aspects to working in the field of higher education that had started to wear on me. I wasn’t crazy about research, the lack of credit given to quality teaching always bothered me, and higher ed was (and is) becoming more and more of a business where the bottom line is all that matters. And don’t get me started about the adjunctification (is that a word?) of the college/university workforce.

Becoming a full-time blogger led me on a new path, but somewhere inside I knew this wasn’t going to be my job for the rest of my life. Aside from just the work/life balance issues, I realized that I don’t like working from home (it’s incredibly hard during the summer when kids are out of school!), that I miss social interaction with colleagues, and that as a 40 year old there’s no certainty that I’ll be able to continue running for another 25 years (I’ve avoided the injury bug so far, but the risk is always there and is a constant worry). With my wife’s support, I decided that this blog needed to go back to being a hobby, and I needed to return to the non-blogging workforce.

Once I came to terms with this new direction, sometime around last Christmas, the cracks in my life started to heal. I’d learned a lot about myself in the process, and I think I emerged as a much better person. I realized how my perfectionism was controlling my life, and I took to heart advice to just be “good enough.” I refocused my energies on spending time with my wife and kids. I started running more, and doing so without any particular plan other than to enjoy putting one foot in front of the other (I had gotten pretty out of shape, and am still clawing my fitness back). I started to enjoy writing again, but no longer felt compelled to publish every day – that pace was simply unsustainable. And I re-connected with my social media accounts (mostly Facebook these days) and email since interactions with friends I have made through this site are the most valuable thing that has come out of it.

This post has been a long time in the making, and I wasn’t sure I was ever going to write it. But I think it’s worthwhile since it seems that the burnout I experienced is not uncommon among those who decide to give blogging full-time a try. I’m happy to say I made it through and am in a better place as a result, but I’ve also realized that I want this site to go back to being a hobby and my running to go back to being a passion.

For that reason, I’ve decided to head back to the classroom, and in three weeks I’ll be starting a program to get certified to teach high school biology. I have no strong desire to return to higher ed, and I want to focus on the aspect of being a college professor that I liked best: working with students in a classroom. I have every intention of continuing to run and write, in fact this site is what is allowing me to go through a certification program rather than trying to jump right in with an alternative certification. I want to learn more about the art of teaching, and you get very little of that in prep for teaching at the college level. But both my running and writing will be at a pace that is more manageable, and I hope to write more about my coming transition.

If I had one piece of advice for anyone thinking about taking on blogging full-time, it would be to set very firm boundaries between your work and your life. Don’t let your work become your life. It sounds easy, but it’s the biggest challenge I have faced since embarking on this journey. You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to be good enough.

Thanks so much for reading this somewhat long and rambling post. Readers are what keep me going – I truly appreciate your support!

About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a recovering academic who currently works as an exercise physiologist, running coach, and writer. He's also a father of three and a fanatical runner with a bit of a shoe obsession. In addition to writing and editing this site, he is co-author of the book Tread Lightly, and writes a personal blog called The Blogologist. Follow Pete on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and via email.

Comments

  1. Pete – so glad you’ve worked things out and have decided what’s best for you and your family. Good luck with your future endeavors and thanks for sharing so much wisdom over the years on the blog!

  2. Hey Pete,

    I completely understand your POV being a college professor, runner, and blogger. I never took the courageous leap of faith that you did, but I can relate to the frustrations of academia as well as those associated with blogging. I’m glad to hear that you are going after happiness, which sounds like a combination of all three of our shared passions. Good luck going forward.

  3. Emily Garrard says:

    Thank you for your honest, heart felt comments. What you described can happen with sometimes devastating, long lasting consequences. I decided to train for a marathon, what would be my 6th, to escape from a stressful situation. The training became stressful due to taking the stress on the runs and led to injury and other problems. What a learning situation! I became a swimmer for a while and after many months of walking and swimming, am back to some running for its own sake.
    I wish you the best!

    • Thanks Emily, compounding stress from work with stress from running is exactly what did me in. Finding the right balance is key, and you are correct about the potentially devastating consequences. I’m hopeful that I learned enough from this experience to never put myself in that situation again.

  4. John Parker says:

    I work virtually from home, so I understand the work/life balance issue. Good luck in your future teaching and look forward to future show reviews.

  5. Peter… I know what you mean. Running a large blog there’s always an extra post, one more tweet, what about that strategy..

    Good to hear you are doing better, hold on and keep blogging, but find your balance!

    Ruggero

    • Funny, I’ve thought now and then about some of our discussions on full-time blogging, and not really sure what the best answer is. I think for the right person it’s a great option, but I’ve realized that I need to be out of the house and around other people. I need that separation. And managin a busy blog is incredibly challenging as you well know, as I imagine you inbox is as big a mess as mine :)

  6. It could be felt for some time, that something is going on under the surface. Now that you wrote this post, it makes perfect sense.
    It’s good that you realized this in time to make a turn. Kudos to your wife for looking out for you! I always say: it’s never the women who hold the crook, but they are the ones who look out so we don’t drop it :-)
    Anyway, glad you’re OK now and enjoying life and running again!

  7. I understand completely and we seem to be going in the opposite direction.

    I left teaching high school and middle school special education to become a full-time running blogger. Got burnt out on the games you have to play and quit pro blogging a couple of years ago, to just go back to personal blogging for me.

    Although I wasn’t at the level of blogging you were, I imagine that the amount of time was about the same and separating my personal life from the demands of social media, the brands and marketing, because that is what run blogging has become was becoming a significant problem and not one that I wanted to continue.

    Now I am going back to work as an administrative assistant for a local University and can’t wait to start this Thursday. Not a teaching position, but I am going back to what I do best, push paperwork.

    It will be interesting to see where your journey takes you and I know that you will have a lot of fun if you decide to go into high school teaching, although like all jobs there are still politics to get through and play with ;-).

    Keep running and writing, I know that I will keep reading your blog. Some day we will meet over a cup of coffee and laugh about all the things we have seen in run blogging since 2011 and the changes it has brought to our lives.

    Good luck and keep smiling

    Harold

    • Yes, we definitely need to meet up for a run. I think identifying what you do best is key – I know that I’m an educator at heart, it’s what I have done since I was about 20 years old, and I’ve done it well. Coming back to it seems natural to me. I know there will be politics and other challenges, but I’m hopeful that the experiences I have had in the past will help me to more effectively navigate those waters.

      Heading up to Maine in a few weeks, can’t wait to put in some miles up there!

  8. I can see how this could happen. As my blog continues to grow, it does threaten to take over my life. I’m working hard at putting limits on my social media activities. I’m glad you found what seems like a happy medium.

    • Yeah, you really have to be strict about limits. I have a few more posts I’m mulling about blogging that may help a bit. One about email and dealing with that overload, maybe one about what it takes to blog full time. Needed to get this one off my chest first though.

  9. Wow Peter! Thank you for sharing your inspiring story and props to your pursuit of happiness after going through all that struggles!! Cheers man!!

  10. Peter, I think back to the day when I first read your blog. I was an obese person, recovering from ankle surgery who wanted to beat the odds and run again. You were the one who steered me in the right direction with shoes that allowed me to run again after 30 years of doing nothing. You answered my questions, and my emails, and I grew fond of your expertise very quickly. If I hadnt met you and gotten your help, I never would have found Caleb, and I never would have been able to run a marathon, which has been my dream since high school. Follow your heart, but always be true to yourself and what you stand for in life…and continue to share your dreams with us, and your family too! :)

  11. Christian says:

    Pete, Thanks for sharing this. It’s good to know a way can be found through such pressures. I’m grateful that its clear you have support around you and have decided for yourself what’s going to work for you for the next phase of your life. I’m sure you’ll change again, but your history shows your success in recognising when it’s time to change and then making the change. I could do with following your example in my work life.

    • Yes, my hope is that this will be the last change and that I can settle in to a nice balance. But life does have a way of throwing curveballs at you from time to time so you never know where it will go.

  12. Chris Southby says:

    Great post Pete
    I’m glad you have a passion for teaching go for it. I’m also glad the runblogger wl go back to being a hobby. I liked it better that way. I’ve been reading it on and off for more than five years now after our 3rd child was born and running became the most efficient way to get exercise. I was prone to ITB issued and found out about minimalist shoes and barefoot running through your blog. It took a while but no more ITB and am still running.
    Good luck on the new career.
    Keep on blogging ( sometimes). I’ll still read it.
    Cheers
    Chris

  13. George Harris says:

    Pete,
    Great post. I just retired after almost 40 years working either in the military or for the military and at times it was all consuming. Now that I am retired I have time for myself and my wife. It is all a matter of balance. I think you are finding that. Good luck and thanks for sharing your wisdom and passion of running.

  14. Pete:

    I am glad you found your way back to what I call “real life”. I don’t think the world will become any worse from you doing less blogging. However, I do know that your wife and your children will be much happier that you are doing less blogging.

    After 30 years of private podiatric practice, the one thing that has kept me going is having the proper balance of family, work, relaxation and fun time. It is not always easy to find that proper balance, but when you do, you and your family will be much happier people.

    Good luck with your new career!

    Cheers,

    Kevin Kirby

    • Kevin – yes, I was lacking “real life” time for sure. To wrapped up in the online world and was neglecting the things that matter most. Hopefully I’ve gotten things straightened out, and I’m looking forward to the new challenges that lay ahead (hopefully with a more level head as I approach them).

      • Fortunately, or unfortunately, I believe, Pete, that we share very similar personalities. Over the years, when I have found myself getting too wrapped up in online discussions, the best thing for me has been to just totally get myself away from it all by not commenting at all anywhere. Temporarily totally walking away from all online discussions has, for me, been very therapeutic at times, and puts the valuable time I spend with family in much better perspective.

        I think you will find it very refreshing to be teaching again since, by nature, you are a teacher. You will likely get much more satisfaction at seeing and experiencing firsthand the change you can make in young students lives with your knowledge and enthusiasm than you ever could by sitting at your computer with online discussions.

        Again good luck with your new career and thanks for all the slow motion running videos you have posted up over the years. They have been very valuable resources in my lectures on running biomechanics and running injuries over the past few years.

        Cheers,

        Kevin

  15. Pete,

    Your website has always been a great source of inspiration and knowledge. It is one of the few sites I check on a daily/weekly basis and you are someone I look up to and respect greatly in the running industry. You have fantastic, nuanced points of view and it seems it translates well to your personal life as well. This post was one of my favorite as it is something many deal with and it only becomes easier when you realize you are not alone in it. I’m happy to hear you were able to identify and work through the issues and seem to be in a better place now.

    All the best and thanks so much for your contributions to the world of running.

    -Jack

  16. Great post Peter.

    Keep on running.

    Greetings from Germany

    Wiesel

  17. Well, honest posts like these that show vulnerability are the kind that will make your audience grow even more! Beware! :) So ironic!

    Great post. Live long and prosper. I wish you all the best/Erik

    • Indeed! I try to keep it real, but this one might open up the floodgates a bit. I felt like I needed to write this before I could take on some topics that have been swirling in my head of late.

  18. That was an interesting introspective post. I’d rather read a high-quality post every week or two than a perfunctory daily update, so I think the move of this site to a hobby could be refreshing.

    Anton Krupicka recently changed his blog from being a daily recap of his workouts to a weekly(ish) article on a topic of his choosing. His current injury issue may have been a driving factor, but regardless the result has been positive.

    You should send Bryon Powell of irunfar an email on this topic. He has managed to turn his website into a job and seems to be doing well with content (lots of guest writers) and running (he just finished the Hardrock 100). He’s a good guy and would be a good idea to bounce ideas off of.

    Good luck with your new direction!

    Dave

    • By the way, my inability to catch obvious grammatical errors (see above) is reason #57 why I don’t also have a blog. (Sigh…)

    • Thanks Dave. The once or twice a week model is kind of what I have been following this summer. I’ve been traveling a ton with the family and it’s about all I’ve been able to manage. Last year I would have stressed like crazy about it, but now it is what it is, and it’s more likely the way things will wind up going forward. There’s no point in pushing out content just to have it there, better to save up for when you have something worth saying. Having fun with the family is my priority right now given that things are gonna get busy again in a few weeks.

      Bryon has done amazing things with iRunFar. Having a ton of writers presents its own challenges. I’ve got a few that do good work (David Henry in particular has been awesome), but not sure I want to become a full time editor. I’m happy keeping things small and having a job in the “real world.”

  19. I really appreciate the honesty and wisdom that comes from your process here. I think so many of us would love to follow our dreams the way you have and to hear what it takes, or costs and requires to maintain balance and pace is super helpful. Thanks for sharing your heart and life in this way.

  20. solereview says:

    A very honest viewpoint of what goes on behind the scenes. Thank you for sharing and letting the world know, Peter!

    Time spend on just one of our reviews = 5 days of running+15 man hours of photograph cataloguing/shoot/post-processing+2-3 full days of writing/proofing. And what do you say/write about a shoe which hasn’t been said a 1,000 times before?

    4,000 reader comments replied in the last 14 months. Profit made since the site started = $0.00

    Only a single day off since April 2014, all weekends are full work days.

    Naturally, burnout happens every week, and one really wants to delete every single file on the server and move on.

    The only way around this (if someone wants to run a website full time on meagre resources) is to almost detach yourself, and work like a robot without sounding like one.

    Regular blogging with quality content (like yours and DC) is extremely hard work, and anyone who thinks otherwise is in for a surprise. It will constantly test you in ways one would have never imagined before.

    • So very true. I try to get at least 30-40 miles on each shoe I review, then writing the review and not getting totally stale requires half a day. And once you have over 1000 posts out there the time spent responding to comments and handling email and social media is overwhelming. To do this and continue to grow requires working like a robot nearly 24/7 as you said – this job is way harder than my work as a college professor was. Rather than continuing to go down that path I’m willing to let it be what it is, even if that means losing income as a result. Happiness means more than money.

      Really appreciate the thoughts from a site I respect :)

  21. I love your blog. It’s the first I look at every day and I appreciate that you write it. May you find a balance that works for you and blog when you may, especially shoe reviews. My life will not be the same if and when your blog ends. Thank you for what you’ve created.

  22. Pete–very well said! I have come to running recently, but went through much of the same experience as you with my passion for photography–first it was a hobby, then I got some paying gigs, and then I tried to turn it into a full-time job. Once I started to rely on it to put food on the table for my family, it stopped being fun, and I got burnt out. I had my most successful year financially with photography, but it was also one of my least favorite years of photography, as I was always making memories for other people. I went back to my longtime job as a restaurant manager, put photography back in its place as a hobby, and then picked up running as another hobby. Whenever I stop enjoying a run, I usually stop, unless I think I’m just being too much of a wimp. I always go back to why I started running in the first place: because it’s relaxing, and it makes me happy.

    Good for you to recognizing what was happening before you self-destructed. As I’ve experimented with shoes and progressed as a runner, I’ve found your posts and reviews invaluable.

    Thanks for all that you do, and good job on getting everything back in the right places. :)

    • Thanks Mark, sounds like exactly my story. Financially the last two years have been great, but I’ll take less income to re-capture the joy I get from running and writing.

  23. Great post, Peter. I came across your blog to read a shoe review like many others do, but the posts that really speaks to me are personal ones like this. (My favorite post of was the one about your daughter running in the track team.) In the long run, I think your readers will appreciate the pieces you wanted to write more than ones you feel you had to write.

    Good luck on your new journey. Those high school students you are going to teach are so lucky!

  24. Hi Pete,
    I am a long time fan of your blog but it is the first time that I posted comment on it.
    While I see the blog hasn’t been updated as frequently as before, I still kept checking it out from time to time as I am really enjoying your blog, it gave much insight to running form, footwears and other aspect. I even enjoy your book “Tread lightly” which connected me well as a casual runner.
    Very glad to hear you worked out the way on how to sustain as a blogger, quality always trump quantity, with passion reinstated, I believe there are even more awesome blog post we could enjoy from you in the future.
    Last but not least, health and family is most important in life, and I wish you got it both.
    Regards,
    Billy

    • Thanks Billy, lately the reduction in posting has been intentional since I have been traveling a bunch with the family. But I think 1-2 per week may be more the norm going forward, but who knows. I’m going to be busy with school starting in a few weeks, so just hope to at least keep running!

  25. Super post Pete, been there and got the hat myself after 13 years now of working from home. So difficult to define the lines sometimes.

    I’d rather have one of your typically great posts now and then rather than anyone feeling they have to provide something almost daily.

    Best wishes on the life-style modifications.

  26. Just the other day we were noticing the posts were less frequent, and lo and behold we now understand.

    Careers are a tough things these days, and once you get to your 40s, you spend a lot of time wondering what you should be doing, what you did, and what the value of your work was (try working in government for 15 years…).

    We enjoyed your talks at Craftsbury last summer; you definitely have a gift for teaching (and we acted like a bunch of high school kids anyway…), and I know you are ready to take on the next challenge, and get back to running joy.

    This site has been invaluable, entertaining and educational in many ways, and we continue to look forward to what’s in store for the future.

    • Thanks Caitlin! Been posting less this summer more out of necessity than choice since I have been traveling so much with the family. Figured I’d make the most of the summer since time will be short when I start my certification program this Fall.

      Wishing I was in Craftsbury this week, but knew it would have been to much to take on with everything else going on right now. Hope to return in the future, maybe next summer.

      • Wishing I was in Craftsbury this week too, and hope to be back next year (either all comers or one of the autumn weekends.)

  27. P.S. You’re sitting with Lincoln at the Gettysburg visitors’ center, correct?

    Great center, the old one was comically small. Been there many times, including just this last March.

  28. Andrew W. Lischuk says:

    Peter, your honesty in every facet of your life is what has always been the best part of coming here and reading the reviews, the science, the discussion, etc… I wish you all the best with the new teaching position and continue to look forward to reading the blog as you see fit to contribute to it in the future.

  29. Pete – There is something relevant in this post for all of us, and I’m so glad you were able to come through it and be candid and open about your struggles. Sharing struggles is often what brings people together, so I’m hoping you and us readers seek out ways to support and encourage others – and have the courage to speak up even when it’s hard.

    Your struggles with blogging are a similar reason I only run recreationally. Friends who know I run often ask why I don’t race since they think I’d be really good (that’s subjective, btw). The reason I don’t race is because when I did I put too much pressure on myself to train and compete – and running ceased to become a joy and stress release and becomes a heavy burden only bringing more stress instead.

    • That’s kind of why I haven’t raced as much lately – I put too much pressure on myself to beat PR’s and the training necessary to do that takes a toll me and ceases to be fun. Right now I am enjoying running for the release, and loving that it is not a source of additional stress.

  30. I appreciate your candor, Pete. As a runner, coach, podcaster, ex-teacher, I can relate. I have been to a similar precipice more than once. Happy you got through it.
    I have to remind myself often, “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” I suffer from extreme enthusiasm. Sounds like you might have s touch of that, too.
    Thanks for writing about this.

  31. Hey! I’m a HS Biology teacher who runs! Let me know if you need any help adjusting to the teaching-high-schoolers-and-having-a-family-and-running-too lifestyle!
    Glad to hear the blog will live on. Your shoe reviews have been informative, helpful and entertaining to me for the last few years.

    • Thanks Tom! My brother teaches HS so I have hit him up for a lot of advice, but won’t hesitate to get in touch if needed. It’s a bit scary to be making this transition, but exciting as well :)

  32. Pete,

    I thought something was off. I’m really happy for you. It’s always depressing to see your passion turn into a job. I have always appreciated your posts, but I think you will realize that your best ones were the ones you enjoyed doing the most, even if they weren’t as polished.

    If you are on burnout, might I suggest that you farm out some of the work. Invite more guest posts on a wider variety of topics. I’m sure lots of your readers have had experiences with injuries, cross training, nutrition, and modifying shoes/gear. Of course you wouldn’t want it to become an open forum, but I think there is opportunities to keep it going without having to work so hard.

    • Thanks Phil. I though about farming out a bit more, but really I want this to be more of a place to come because I enjoy writing and I want it to be less of a job. I have a few writers who do good stuff, and not opposed to adding the right person, but no plans to really expand in a big way.

  33. Hi Pete,

    Kudos to you & your family for the turn around. Your honesty is refreshing. All the best with the new direction you’re embarking upon. Keep your priorities & stay focused. You’ll do great!

  34. That was a great post, Pete. I, too, left the t-track world for HS teaching. I hope it is what you really want. Teaching was always my favorite part of the job, but everything else burned me out. Getting tenure didn’t feel like a reward; it felt like a sentence. Transitioning to HS teaching felt great. But the honeymoon doesn’t last forever. The kids are great and the teaching is wonderful. But the biggest difference is trading the autonomy for micro-management. Teaching does suck you in; you end up becoming a fixture at the school. Teaching four preps plus coaching XC and track (state champs this year!) makes for longer work days than I ever had as a prof. But, you do leave work at work and your summers and breaks are truly time off. I’m glad I made the transition, even though it didn’t turn out to be quite what I pictured. I hope it is what you need it to be. If you ever have any questions or curiosities about life after “the switch,” you have my e-mail. Not too many have made it, and people in K-12 will think you are crazy for doing it. The pat is better, though (at least where I work). Good luck in your transition.

    • Thanks BC! I have no illusions that the transition will be easy, or that HS teaching won’t have it’s share of challenges, so I hope I’m going in with the right mindset. I feel like I’ve learned a lot in the previous career that will allow me to shake off some of the less fun stuff. Really though, I want a job that lets me teach, and one that lets me turn off when I’m on break in the summer. I’m happy to work hard when needed, but I need that dividing line between work and life.

      I totally agree about tenure being a sentence – I could so easily have coasted out and done the same thing each year for the next 30, but I didn’t want to stay in that trap.

  35. gregory says:

    Bravo, Pete. Thank you for being bold and brave enough to put this vulnerable piece out.

    My communities include running, rock-climbing, and small- and medium-biz entrepreneurs.

    The biz-owner crowd (including me) struggles with a lot of the same things you shared. There’s a feeling of isolation that comes with success: a feeling that so much is expected of you and that you are compelled to meet those expectations even more in success than you ever might have been in a more typical (or less successful) version of things.

    May the next chapter of your life continue to bring you growth and happiness.

    Thanks for being vulnerable.

  36. Jonathan says:

    Pete,
    Just want to say thanks for this post- honest, insightful and thought-provoking. This is why you have a following across the globe. (I’m writing from Singapore)

    Best wishes for your next adventure in life!

  37. Pete,
    First of all. Thank you so much for what you do. I truly enjoy your blog and have read it almost from the start. I went through a similar situation last year, and came to the same conclusion. Work and hobbies are a difficult mix.. Glad you stayed and have peace of mind again. Thanks

  38. As someone who is just starting to grow their blog/writing career, I can’t decide if this post is encouraging or discouraging to me, lol. I did enjoy reading it though.

    • I don’t think it should discourage you, I was just hoping to share some of the mistakes I made in hopes that others can learn from them. I need to write another post on what I think it takes to be a successful, full-time blogger…it can be very rewarding, but you need to be careful not to burn out.

  39. Hi Pete,
    Appreciate your honestly and especially the effort you put into your blog. It is my “go to” site for running information and I especially enjoy all the content.

    Just wanted to let you know that I always read your shoe reviews (which are the best) before I make any purchase. Long live Kinvara!

    Great luck in all your endeavors.

  40. Pete,
    Your blog has been a source of inspiration for me these last several years as I took up running. My feet must be similar to yours, as the Sauconys you like are the ones that seem to work best for me. Thanks for your writing here!
    Ben

  41. Pat Lampel says:

    You are my running Guru man, you can’t stop now!

  42. I’m glad I found this article as I am a new blogger and I can already tell it’s becoming time consuming. I actually was inspired to write a post about my job burnout because of it. I hope my blog doesn’t send me packing again. Either way, great read.
    Here’s a link to my post on this topic. Would love some feedback if you ever find the time.

    link to partnersinchic.com


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