I’ve struggled writing this post for several weeks now. When I made my resolutions in January, I intended this one to be literal: “Annie needs to stretch more”. Duh. It’s no secret that I’ve been off form since December, struggling with a right hip and glute that need much more than I’ve been willing to give them. I resolved to give stretching the attention it deserved…
…so I could heal and get back to running hard and fast – where the endorphins kick in and I feel like I can handle anything.
I started Physical Therapy, and while my right side is finally feeling better, my left knee and (more seriously) my left Achilles have started to complain. My core is stronger, but now my back grumbles when I spend too much time carrying SweetBabyJ. At 36, I wonder: Are the wheels coming off…am I a totally washed up train wreck?
Of course with motherhood – my alternate identity – the wheels come off daily! The girls lolly gag in the morning, and I lose my temper. BabyJ draws all over her face 5 minutes before school, and I lose it again. I spend an hour fixing a balanced, healthy, organic, veggie-rich dinner and am told “This is disgusting!”, so I pour myself a sippy-cup…
But in motherhood, I rebound. Again and again. Because I have to. Being a mom is not a 5K. It’s not a 10K or even a marathon. Motherhood is 15 hours of running. Each day, every day. And when your temper frays or your heart hurts, you just keep going. One foot in front of the other. Relentless Forward Progress.
When someone asks me who my idols are in the running community, its not the Usual Suspects. I think it is awesome that Kara Goucher landed a place on the US Olympic Team after having a baby, but I could never BE her.
I look to the women who are 40, 50, and even 60+ that are ultra runners and triathletes. They have not slowed or surrendered to the expectations of time. They have balanced the demands of family with the demands of training and they are out there showing us all that IT CAN BE DONE. I am proud to run alongside them (or, in many cases, behind them) and I hope and pray that I can be on the trails for the next 36 years (I’ll be the baddest 72 year old granny, for sure!!)
So, my resolution is no longer just about Stretching. Stretch it Out is about longevity. About making this last as long as I can. To keep this resolution, I’ve had to do some things that are not easy or comfortable. For starters, I dropped out of a race this weekend. A beautifully organized trail marathon that I ached to run. But I knew, deep down, that my achilles couldn’t handle it. So I prioritized the future over the present.
Which is why I became a mom in the first place.