This summer my Dad gave me the book “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougal. He thought it would help me understand Zeke. He didn’t realize the effect it would have on me! I have never tried running in all my 43 years. I just assumed I did not have the body type to run long distances. I also had picked up a belief from somewhere that running was inherently bad for you. After reading this book I definitely had more insight about my high energy son who runs everywhere at 90 miles an hour. But the unintended consequence is that I also began to wonder if I was selling myself short.
Thanks Dad, for always planting seeds for personal growth. (even unintentionally)
The next step I took was to go the most trusted expert I could find on running……Drew Deppen. Drew is a Chiropractor in Chicago with a very fresh unique approach. He is also a very accomplished runner and now my trusted running coach and wonderful friend. I asked him if he could teach an old lady how to run. He simply said, “yes”. The following letter was from me to Drew as he was gearing up for the Chicago Marathon. It also sums up the affect his “yes” had on me.
Hi! Hope you are getting excited about your run this coming sunday. I was looking at my e-mail and I am wondering if you got sent a double e-mail by me. Sorry if so. We could safely blame Zeke if that is the case. Whenever it gets too quiet at my house I usually find him “fixing the computer” or something along those lines. We have a saying in our family that: if it gets too quiet; it is already too late. 🙂
Yesterday was my 17 year wedding anniversary! And this Thursday I turn 43. I had Noah when I was your age. I have spent the last 15 years in a deep fog of “little kids”. I love my children more than life itself. They are the biggest blessing I have ever received. They are also the hardest job I have ever done. I had to set aside my own needs so many times to take care of everybody else. I became accustomed to not showering, not using the bathroom by myself, and not even hearing my self think. I have spent countless hours rocking crying children, changing diapers, breastfeeding, then wiping tushies, playing rescue heroes and polly pockets. I5 years later, I am still wiping tushies and playing resue heroes and polly pockets. Yet, I am now also teaching Noah how to drive! And faithfully going to every basketball and soccer game that is played. Not even including all the daily chores I grind out: like laundry, bills, groceries, meals, lunches etc.
This past summer as Zeke has turned 3 and you have started teaching me how to run (for the first time in my entire life!) I feel like I am waking up out of this deep fog of the last 15 years. I had no idea how much of myself had disappeared in that time. Parts of myself are starting to show up again. I swear to God I have really missed myself! I love the feeling of being strong again. And I realized how much I need adventure and nature in my life again. I have always tried to work out. I knew it was important, yet it really just felt like another chore to grind out that I never had enough time for. Now all the other work outs have taken on a greater meaning for me too:…. To be able to run farther and faster!
Richard and I ran through the forest preserve yesterday on our anniversary and it felt significant. It was a hard workout as the ground is mushy from all the wet weather. But we had so much fun together. It felt adventurous. We were able to see deer and horses and not so much cars and asphalt. We are finding something that we can do together that we both love. And I am realizing that I have to get balance back in my life. My kids will only benefit from seeing me take on my own challenge and growing from it. I am having so much fun doing it. I think that running is going to be a wonderful stepping stone to me gaining my own life, as my children stop needing me so intensely and begin to become their own independent people.
So I thank you and Richard thanks you (he has missed me too). And I hope your run Sunday is the best one yet.
P.S. Dumb question but: How do you watch a marathon? We have considered coming down to watch and all of us have looked at each other and asked: How do you watch a 26 mile race? You will have to educate us. 🙂