The first week of school has passed – done, finished, over, kaput. And, I’m exhausted.
This was the first week of balancing family, work and fitness – of keeping the balls up in the air. And, it’s hard work. Done well, it has the benefit of a happy and healthy family, a stable income, and your own sanity.
Running is no different. Except for those with physical limitations, anyone can run. We started doing it when we weren’t even two years old and we likely learned how to run before we could even walk. We naturally landed on our midfoot, which experts are now saying is the way to run for better performance. When we finished getting across the room, our faces lit up, screaming “I did it! I got here by myself!”
As adults, we have developed our own personal gait and a speed that we own. But what we do with our gait and speed depends on how much time and work we are willing to put into our running.
At the Waterfront Trail 8K race this morning, I overheard two women talking about the effort running takes. “If I were on my own with two kids, I couldn’t do it,” one commented. “It would be too much work. I’d just quit.”
They were likely talking about me. There I was with my two cheerleaders in tow. Daddy couldn’t make it this morning and the boys really wanted to come. They were so adamant that they sent themselves to bed early last night and, when I woke them up at 6:30 this morning, there were no groans like the ones I get on school mornings; eyes popped open and they rolled out of bed.
Now before you start thinking that I’m a bad mom, I did plan ahead. My friend, Delilah, was running the 5K, which was an hour before the 8K. On Wednesday night, before I registered, I checked with her to see if she was going to watch my race and, if so, whether she could also mind my boys. I decided to run the longer distance for two reasons: it would be better for my marathon training and, most importantly, she could watch the boys.
All of my runs are planned around my boys – around their lessons, their meals, their bedtimes and get-up and go times. I know that many of you do the same. But now I have that added stress of planning my runs around school – their education and my career. My hours for running are suddenly very limited again and I’m already finding that very frustrating.
But, like the toddler, running is such a natural thing for me to want to do. With mileage increasing, adding track workouts, and better race times, I feel that each week is better than the one before. I get excited by each run that I finish; I want to shout “I did it!”
I did it through hard work and with the support of my family and friends. During the school year, I work, and often I struggle, to keep the fitness ball in the air.
So, when I hear someone say “I’d just quit”, I feel sorry for them because they are missing something that I, that we, have. It is worth putting in the effort.