April was a month of big milestones for me: It marked 18 months since my leg surgery and the chance to get outside of my comfort zone. So I decided to take a solo trip to Ireland and just…explore. It was empowering to realize that I had control over every single second of my day. I saw Dublin and Belfast, visited castles and murals and museums, and even won a Literary Pub Crawl t-shirt (here’s to being obsessed with Oscar Wilde trivia).

I even visited some universities over there, as many of our students are considering applying to colleges like Trinity, Dublin University and other UK schools. (Link to that blog post ICYMI) But this empowerment also led me to a desire to learn more and use my newfound independence to better myself. I ask my students to consider the same thing: maybe you can’t jet off to Ireland, but can you arrange your schedule or plan experiences that inspire you to become a stronger person or a better prepper?

I also decided to run a 5K- the Race for Peace in Wheaton Regional Park on April 20. My goal was to finish without embarrassing myself (since running is still a bit hard with a metal leg), and I had been training for it for a couple months. Imagine my surprise when I somehow finished in 2nd place overall for women (and 4th overall regardless of gender). It showed me I had set my bar too low. While I am certainly not going to blow anyone away in a tougher field, I now know that with proper, gradual training and a goal-oriented outlook, I can conquer previously-impossible goals. Hmm, sounds like there’s a college app/test prep metaphor in here….

Here’s to our newly warm weather and a fabulous wind-down to the school year!

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