About ten or eleven years ago, I had a period of time where I questioned my life and my value. I had gone to college for a nursing degree and worked as a nurse for about three years before giving birth to "Mommy". Doc and I decided that staying home with children was very important, and if we could swing it financially, I was going to become a stay at home mom. Back in the early 80's, women were really "in" to careers. What kind of an idiot at that time chose to give up their profession? I heard comments about wasting my education and was warned that I should plan to do a lot of PTA stuff and luncheons. And it was all said in a derogatory kind of way. But, we went ahead with our plan. In the process, we raised seven children, well six children and a teenager. And to this day, I am glad I was with them so much.
But....I have had my moments. The gang is ALL very intelligent, very talented if I do say so myself. At age 45+ I had been watching all of their accomplishments from the sidelines. Now I know I was an active participant in their lives, but like I said, I have had my moments..... Quite frankly, I was jealous and sick of watching all of their achievements, going to their banquets and award ceremonies, cutting out all of their newspaper articles, blah, blah, blah. I was tired of being the banner carrier.......and I wasn't.
Anyway, about ten or eleven years ago, I wanted to accomplish something great that was out of my comfort zone. I am not a runner. My husband was, my girls are, my boys can run 100 yards on a football field. I was always the kid who was doubled over after running half a block down the street. The only running I did was in my mind, when I would tell the kids that if they thought they could run from me after getting in trouble, they would find out just how fast and far I could go. Thank God they never called my bluff!
But, my girls taught me to run. At first it was mostly walking with maybe ten seconds of jogging. Eventually the jogging was longer than the walking. And so, genius that I am, I decided that my Great Accomplishment would be to run a marathon before I turned fifty. I trained for nine months, but it seemed like nine years. I ran my first marathon with "Mommmy" and we crossed the finish line together. I found out that the running part was easier than the mental part of the race. My goal was survival and finishing in five and a half hours because then I got a free pair of running shoes from the Marathon sponsors. (Some people will do anything for a free pair of shoes!)
Mission accomplished, right?! No. I am not that smart. A few years later, I signed up for another marathon. This time, it would be with "Mommy" and "Mini Me". "Mommy" and I trained. "Mini Me" was in college at the time and we would check in on her. She swore to me that she had been training. Race day arrived. It was 100+ degrees that day. In fact, the shut down the Chicago marathon when someone died from the heat. We ran. About half way through and in tears, "Mini Me" finally admitted that she had not trained at all. What?!!!! Being stubborn and loyal women, we decided that if we started together, we were finishing together. And we did. It took longer than six hours, but we made it.
Mission accomplished, right? No. I am no smarter. A group of us signed up to fly to Georgia and Fort Benning to run the Soldier's Marathon in honor of "Mommy's" sister in law. It was cold, it was hot, it was hilly. I believe I said a lot of bad words and I know that at about mile 21 there were a few tears. But somehow when you hit mile 25, you get a burst of energy and run to the finish. Let's not get excited about the word run, for me it is a slightly faster jog. But there was more energy!
Mission accomplished, right? Sort of. I decided that while I was done with marathons, I could do maybe a half marathon and start scaling back. So, a couple of years ago, I signed up for a half marathon with the Blonde. Why not? I hadn't run with her yet. Apparently I had gotten older, and apparently was under trained. I wasn't sure that I could finish and there was a lot of whining involved, but thanks to the Blonde we crossed the finish line together. I made everyone promise to shoot me or punch me in the face or something if I ever decided to do any of this again.
Mission accomplished, right? Yea, not so much. A few months ago, my nephew asked me to run a marathon with him and before I could stop myself from speaking, the word yes popped right out of my mouth. So, I trained all summer (the hottest summer I can remember in decades, by the way). Sometimes, I trained alone and sometimes with "Mini Me". I cannot train with the Blonde, because I can't even ride my bike fast enough to keep up with her when she runs. It would be my first race without "Mommy". But anyway, yesterday was the marathon. We finished in about six hours and I had the best time of my life! We talked non-stop for six hours. The very best part of each and every race, but especially this last one (Is it the last one?) was seeing the family at the finish line cheering us on.
I learned a lot in the ten years or so of my marathon career. Life is a marathon. We all get our moments, big and small. Sometimes they are recognizable and sometimes they are as simple as a small hand placed in yours. Sometimes it takes you years to recognize your moments. The blessing and richness of it all is in the people that you love and who love you!. So, thank you from the bottom of my heart to my nephew for getting me to do this again, and to my "people" for loving me and supporting me in return. Happy Momsense Monday! Go live your marathon!
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!