The Active Educator
by Michael Murphy
For me, teaching and being active go hand in hand. I was your average high school athlete, running track and cross country. I ran 400 meter repeats, like Matt Arend still does. I put in the long miles, like Greg Bruno and Harmonee McCrae still do. I loved competing for sure.
After high school life gets busy and real. I ran less and less. I tried staying in shape by going to the gym every once in a while. No consistency however. And we all know Consistency is Key, as Val Chavez says!!
Fast forward to my late 30’s. Happily married to the awesome Mrs. Murphy with 3 kiddos. Working in the construction industry managing a United Rentals store. Not exercising other than playing with the kids and keeping up with their busy schedules. Then one day I was playing outside with the kids and I saw my reflection in the back door. Life changing action needed to take place!! And it did!
I was about to turn 40 when I decided to make some “Next Level Moves”, as our friend Vernon Wright says!! Next level moves in career and fitness. 2 of the best moves I’ve ever made. I enrolled in an Alternative Certification program for educators and started running again. That fall I began teaching at Brenham Elementary as a Sped teacher. As the years rolled by, I ran more and more. My wife Kim and I, who is an amazing educator, became more and more involved with the kid’s school activities, not that we weren’t before. We became band parents and headed up chaperones for the next decade. The Brenham Cub Band kept us connected and active for almost 14 years.
Through those band years I ran as many races as I could. 5ks and half marathons were my favorites. Mrs. Murphy joined me for several 13.1s. Being an educator and staying active through racing and chaperoning football games with the band helped connect us to the community.
So here I am at 56. 16 years at Brenham Elementary. Empty nest. Totally amazing wife who teaches 2nd grade math. 3 successful kiddos. 12 half marathons under my belt with another handful of 5ks. I have to say being in education in these mid life years has shaped the both of us into the “athletes” we are today. Whether that be walking, biking, running or hiking, I believe being an educator and staying active go hand in hand.