How much commitment is enough?

Here’s my dilemma. My new teaching job (yay, I finally got a teaching job!) is a contract from January to June. Right now I’m still considered a supply teacher, but in 4 months I will sign on the dotted line and become a “D” contract teacher, which significantly increases my chances of full time employment the following year. In October, before I even knew about this job at all, I planned to go to Nationals in Vancouver at the end of February. Tickets were purchased and excitement was high.

Yesterday, however, I received an e-mail saying that if I were to take off in February (without pay), it would constitute a break in service. Therefore, the 4 months I need to work before I obtain my “D” contract would not be satisfied as the 4 months would re-start the day I come back from Nationals. Ultimately, no “D” contract for me in this scenario.

My stomach dropped when I read the e-mail from HR. I read it again just to be sure I read it correctly. Yep, that’s what it said. A friend of mine in a similar scenario had done something similar last year and she was able to go without consequence so I was sure it would be no problem. Obviously I was upset.

Then started the debate. Climbing is my passion, among many things. I live to do what makes me happy. Climbing makes me happy. Competing makes me happy. Travelling makes me happy. Yet, I need money to do most of these things. I need a career to support myself and my future family. Teaching, especially around here, takes awhile to get into and permanent positions are few and far in between. Giving up this contract is not just giving up one contract – it’s giving up my advantage in the system.

My dilemma really comes down to this: Am I committed enough to this sport that it means more to me than career success? Supply teachers are still nicely compensated, but have zero job security or benefits.

When I think about this, I try to silence thoughts about how I think others would react, you kind of have to. I know it would seem weird to others to throw away a teaching contract for a week in Vancouver for Nationals that I might not even place at. I understand that it is borderline stupid, especially since I’m finally moving forward in a teaching system that is constantly being re-filled with new teachers/competition. But to me, work is to sustain yourself to be able to do things like this. People are so angry at others who put their job ahead of themselves, their family and their friends. Of course, that is quite an extreme comparison, but I think the mentality is similar.

At this point, I’m still unsure of what I want to do. My heart is leaning towards going, but in the back of my head I keep thinking about what I’m giving up. Whatever my decision will be, I’ll have to believe it 100%. That’s true with a lot of things, right?

Feel free to comment what you think I should do – at this point, I need all the suggestions I can get.

climb on xx



3 thoughts on “How much commitment is enough?

  1. From where i’m standing it sounds like a no brainer. There is no such thing as job security in the 21st century therefore nationals it is. There will always be an opportunity to get a ‘secure’ job like this in the future, therefore nationals it is. There will not be many opportunities to live the experience you will have at nationals in your life so go for it. This will mean that you’ll have that extra drive for nationals because it will be a BIG deal for you personally, meaning you will crush it. Go all out, live your life to live, not for a pay check. Seriously, you’ll regret it for ever. Either way, theres a you in a parallel dimension that will make the stable job choice for you so you don’t have to. (according to Einstein at least) Don’t have a conversation with your kids that goes something like ‘ mummy did you climb?’ ‘yes my darling, i even nearly went to nationals’. You have no choice. In France we say ‘only dead fish swim with the current’ and I figure your more of the alive breed. therefore nationals it is! 🙂


      • I like that addition at the end “n’allez pas girl” haha very true! I thought I had responded to this earlier, so I apologize for the late reply. Thanks for your feedback, you basically reinforced all my ideologies so it was nice to hear from someone on my side! Luckily, I’ve figured out a way to go without losing my contract… It’s not exactly the outcome I would have liked, but it still allows me to go and not lose my contract. Win win!


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