Seeking my happy place

By Kendall Vogts

running-shoes-1421645The school year is officially under way, and, as a teacher, coach, and wife to a teacher, I am feeling the freedoms of summer slipping away. I also feel the pressures of teacherhood, the dog-tiredness, the need to be there for my students and team, and the really strong want to just chill with my husband like we did over the summer.

In all of the craziness that comes as we move farther into the school year, for teachers, parents, and even the kiddos, it’s important to take time to do the things we love; even if it’s a bike ride, a movie marathon, or eating a favorite meal.

The special things tend to get buried under the stress, and that is why I am making it a goal for the school year to continue to do the things I love.

Doing our favorite things does not have to be limited to the three months in the year that we feel most “free”.

Along with the school year stresses, there is something else that I have been feeling that I find so exciting.

I know I am not the only one who feels fall coming. The cool mornings, mild afternoon temperatures, and crisp smelling air are screaming at me, “Fall is here, Kendall! It’s time!”

It is the perfect time to do one the things that I love so much.

I am a runner.

I don’t always run the farthest or the fastest, but since my senior year of high school, I have been a runner.

Like quite a few other runners I know, I prefer to run when it is cool outside, but the coolness and crispness of the fall air aren’t the only reasons why this is my favorite time to run. Running in the fall allows me to feel the most warming nostalgia, and I seek to recreate those feelings every time I run in the fall. That is easily one of my favorite things.

In college, I would visit my hometown of Minneapolis, Kan., and as a member of my college cross country team, I would need to do runs when I was away from campus.

In Minneapolis, I have a route that I absolutely love to run. It never gets old, and that is because it’s my happy place. That is a path that I try to recreate wherever I am. I run different routes where I currently live, and I have specific routes that I run when I visit my sisters in Oklahoma or Minnesota.

And I run them for the same reasons — those feelings.

When I am away an my happy place, it really doesn’t matter what the course looks like, or how challenging it is.

What really matters is that the air is cool and crisp, the leaves are changing, I am in my favorite long-sleeved T-shirt, and it smells like fall.

I take in everything my route has to offer, and I lose myself. The chaos of school, students, athletes, and a messy house leave me, and I am happy.

As the year continues, I will make it a point to “escape” in this way as often as I can, and I hope that you and your family are able to do the same thing.

Set down the dishes, the homework, and the car keys. Choose something special to you, and escape!

Kendall Vogts lives and teaches in Central Kansas. She is married to the luckiest man alive, Wichita Family Magazine publisher Todd Vogts.

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