Science teacher fits exercise into busy schedule

Sara Peterson dedicated to running


Used with permission from Sara Peterson

Johanna Kaplan

Being a full-time teacher, how busy are you on a day-to-day basis?

It’s very busy. I worked in communications and marketing for 13 years before becoming a teacher and I was never even remotely as busy as I am every day during the school year.

How do you fit exercise into your schedule? 

In order to make sure that I can get it in, I get up at 5:30 (a.m.) so that I can get it in without taking time away from being with my family when I get home from work.

What motivates you to wake up so early and exercise?

It’s (about) noticing how it makes me feel in the morning. And then if I’m in a better mood throughout my day, then everything else seems to go better — I can work with students better, I can work with colleagues better. But the other thing is knowing that it’s over with, it’s done. I can come home. 

How does getting active affect your mood? 

I am always in a better and calmer mood when I come in after I’ve gotten my exercise in for the day, versus on those mornings when I’m unable to fit it in.

When did you start running? 

I was in high school when I started running. Three of my best friends also started running, and so we were able to run together. And that was something that we could do together and that we still do together now.

Did you like it at first or did you have to grow into it?

I hated it when it first started and I don’t know when I was 14 what my real motivation was, I think I just had other friends that were running and I thought that it sounded like a cool thing to do.

Have you ever participated in a marathon?

I’ve run seven marathons, and I have done a bunch of half marathons. I’ve done some mountain bike races and some gravel bike races.