I wasn’t going to write this.
It’s once again about me and running and … who really cares?
This, however, isn’t really about running, it’s about life. Hard choices and how we navigate with little eyes watching.
Last Wednesday, just hours after the paper hit stands I received a few ‘hey, good luck on that race’ messages. So ... I pondered this.
Last week’s piece was written and submitted hours before I realized this was not to be ‘my race’ (as us runners like to say). I’ve never done that before … quit. Pulled the plug or said out loud … nope not this one. It was hard and in all honesty still is. Yet as I shared last week, that’s the beauty of it. It’s all in the life lessons.
As a mom, the choice was taken seriously. It was most definitely a Pro/Con situation. I’m a finish what you start parent. I don’t believe in short cuts or giving up. So this was to be a lesson not just for mommy, but our whole family.
Total candor, I actually hoped my kids had forgotten. Races are what I do, so they can all start to bleed together at times.
Side note: I am fine. My health is good. Sometimes we are ill (be it an infection) and we just don’t know. Sometimes an infection can become worse, which then leads to ‘tests’ and yellow lights. We’re parents. We’re busy racing around doing life. Sometimes things happen which don’t just cause us to pause, they force us to stop. The gist … running a marathon on a ‘yellow’ light status is not just irresponsible it’s plain stupid. Those sneakers hold my sanctuary to not just health but sanity, so I needed to stop and ‘be well.’
True to who she is, my seven-year-old realized mommy’s ‘Big Race’ was coming. This was not an easy conversation.
That’s the thing about parenting. There is no manual. We learn as we go. We hope to find the right words to comfort, teach and help them grow. At the same time, there is value in being vulnerable and letting them see disappointment.
I’m not a sugar coat it type, but this was hard.
In a nutshell I explained to my duo what my girlfriends and I discuss all the time, there are no guarantees. Life happens. They both knew I was taking medicine and had seen the doctor. They knew I had a few tests to make sure I was ‘okay.’ So, they were not completely in the dark. Ultimately they knew I made the decision which was best for me … for us.
My daughter took it the hardest.
‘I’m sorry mommy, you worked hard for this. Now, when is the next one?’ she asked.
My son is the old soul/fixer of the family. He offered to walk the first half with me, noting that a full marathon was a bit much for his 10-year-old body, but he’d make it through 13.1 if that would help.
So yes indeed, last Sunday I did not run my third Marathon. There is no medal, there is no new PR (Personal Record) or a fancy new windbreaker. Nope, none of those things, but … I won.
Four years ago, I put myself at the top of the list for myself and my family. I decided the fat me no longer suited how I wanted to live life. The fat me was not best for me or our family, as a result of that running just happened.
During this four year journey I have watched it shape and mold our family for the better. The spirit in which they comforted me in my disappointment is evidence.
Therein lies the lesson. Little eyes are always watching.
My duo knew I was unhappy and disappointed. They watched me head out for speed work in 90 degree heat. They know the peas in the freezer are for mommy’s legs after a long run. They understand what it means to chase down a goal.
As a result they now know that life doesn’t always go as planned. That even as a grown up things don’t always go our way. Disappointment does not equal defeat. We move on, we accept what is and we reassess.
The plug was pulled on this goal; the beauty is the tub is not broken. The tub is now simply empty and ready to be refilled.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.