It actually started about a week ago. I'm in a whole bunch of groups on facebook, but one of them is a small group of local ladies who all run. I met several of them when I did the half-marathon in October, and they are awesome. But since that race, I haven't done anything to get in shape, or to even maintain the bleh shape that I was in when I did that race. Nothing. I haven't even gone for a walk.
So....like I said, a week-ish ago, this post caught my eye.....
Two miles a day for 2 weeks, I thought. I might be able to do that. So I agreed.
Of course, when I agreed, the weather was decent. Today, on the first day of the challenge? Yeah. Not so much.
I thought about waiting until later in the day (notice the time on that shot is 7:35am), but I had so much going on that I knew that if I didn't do it as soon as I dropped the kids off at school, I wasn't going to do it. And if I missed the first day, then I wouldn't do the challenge at all - because that's the way that my mind works. And I also knew that I had an appointment at 9am so if I was going to do it, I had to do it right then and there. I threw on an extra layer of clothes, cursed the girls in that group as I felt them virtually shove me out the door, and took off.
It. was. cold.
OMG it was cold. There was just enough wind that it was absolutely miserable as I started walking into it, and I came *thisclose* to turning around and going straight back to the house. But, it was a challenge. And I knew that if I got going, once I got to a certain point on my predetermined route, I could turn and have the wind at my back.
And then my mind started to wander in typical brain dump fashion. I'm not going to bore you with the total stream of consciousness train of thought that went in a bajillion different directions at a speed that blew my mind, but it was intense.
Ultimately, I thought about how parents tend to always put their kids first. I mean, really, who wouldn't? We have these little humans that depend on us for everything (more or less) and so we have to make sure that they're taken care of because that's our job, right? And we run ourselves ragged taking care of them and doing the things that parents do because it's what we're supposed to do and it's what we're expected to do - and we put ourselves last, sometimes to our own detriment.
I am so guilty of this, as most people know. I don't do squat for myself except maybe sit on my butt on the couch with a glass of wine once in a while (speaking of which...... I'm thirsty). And while taking care of the kids is all well and good (and ultimately, necessary) I realized....
I have to start taking better care of myself.
It seriously hit me like a smack upside the head. It's something that I've always known in the back of my mind, but I've ignored it because it seems like anytime parents (and yes, especially a mom) put themselves first, they are ripped to shreds by society. They are called selfish, self-centered, irresponsible, or bad parents.
I have been called all sorts of horrible names in the past because I am grateful when the kids go back to school after a long weekend or summer break. It's not that I want to get rid of my kids, but it's because I know that I can use that time away from them to work on things that *I* need to do to make me a better parent. Sometimes, it's mundane tasks like folding laundry and scrubbing toilets because I know that if I get those done while the kids are gone, I can spend more quality time with them when they return. And sometimes it's things like going for a run or taking a nap, because I need some time to do something that is completely and totally for me and for me only.
But even those things that I do for me and for me only end up benefiting the kids because guess what? When I get to do them, I'm in a better mood.
Better mood = better mom.
And seriously, who can argue with that train of thought when a view like this is staring you in the face while it's happening?
I came back from that run this morning feeling like it was ok to want to get back into running again. Like it's ok to finally commit to doing something for myself. Like maybe, just maybe, I can actually succeed at this 2-week challenge, and then continue on from there.
It's amazing how much my perspective can change in one 33 minute chunk of time.
And maybe, just maybe, in 2 weeks I can shave more than a few minutes off of that pathetic time. Assuming that I don't freeze a few limbs off in the process.