A few short months ago I had big lofty goals and dreams. I thought I was invincible; that I was the epitome of my ‘once upon a time’ athletic self. In these few short months I’ve realized that not only am I again athletic, just not with the same prowess I once had, but I’m also realistic. I’m realistic to the point of knowing when I need to bow out of the fight, to take a knee, to walk away.
All that being said, I’ve decided that a full marathon is not going to happen for me this year. I’m not injured, but my time with my children is. I am spending too much time away from them, trying for what has become a selfish goal. They are all in a season of life where I NEED to be present, as much for them as for me.
And to be honest, I’m okay with all of this. I know what my body is capable of at 39 years old. I know that, moving forward, if I want to run a 5k or a 10k, I can. I know that I am in shape (finally!). I also know that my daughter is facing her senior year of high school, and college applications, and the end of this season in her life. My son is entering high school, beginning a new season in his life. My other son is entering 7th grade (and that’s middle school and, well, you remember middle school – so very much AWKWARD). These are tough years for my babies. I am their mother first and intend to be present for everything they need me to be present at…even if that presence is just to snuggle on the couch and complain about the pressure of college applications or to play catch in the yard with a football or even just to make dinner together. Soon enough, they won’t be needing me in quite the same ways.
I know what you’re thinking…’you need to do things for you.’ I hear you. However, I can still do things for myself without feeling like it consumes every spare moment I have. In about 15 months, one of my children will be, most likely, going AWAY to college (which sucks, by the way). I do not have any regrets about this decision, not one. I do apologize to those of you who have invested in my lofty idea to try this. But, I’m not really sorry. I know this is the right thing.
For the next 6 weeks, my life will be (relatively) consumed by training for my first ever ½ marathon (taking a few moments here and there to celebrate some birthday’s and other life moments and milestones). I’m not a fast runner (like, not even a little), but I have decent endurance which will help me to finish the race and be proud of myself…even if it takes me 3 hours. After that, I intend to be fully and completely present for my children, my husband, and myself.
And today, I went shopping with my daughter instead of running. I don’t even like shopping, but I know it was the right decision. She got stuff and I got time. Win-win.