Have you ever done something that didn't make any sense at all, but gave you a new perspective and energized you with joy?
A couple of months ago, I got the crazy idea that I'd like to run a marathon. This began a new chapter in my life and how I define motherhood.
The idea began brewing just as I'd completely given up on keeping up my appearance and weight. I'd dated 20+ guys since the divorce, hadn't found anyone worth spending time with who would also accept my sons, and felt like any effort I put forth in my fitness was for nothing. I wasn't finding "Mr. Right", so going to the gym wasn't necessary, right?
I put on about 20 extra pounds after two challenges I set before myself this summer. One was to bake a loaf a bread a day for a month, and the other was to make a pie a week for two months. No wonder. :)
Around February, I felt pretty depressed and tired all the time. I prayed about a solution, and it came almost immediately.
The weight had to come off, and fitness had to be my priority - but this time, not for a guy.... for myself. When my mother completed her 6th marathon, I decided to jump on that bandwagon and surprise her for Mother's Day with my registration for a 26.2 miler, just like her. I began researching training methods immediately, got a Nike+ chip for my iPod to calculate my distances and record my workouts, and started running 20 miles per week, every week.
Naturally, being the bundle of excitement that I am, I broke the news to her about a month early. We went shopping for running shoes that very day. It gave me an opportunity to bond with her in a way that I haven't been able to do in years.
We both ran Bloomsday, a local 7.5 mile course, and I met my goal time of 1:37 minutes, 3 minutes under the time I'd set for myself. I've officially caught the running bug!
Now that I'm just two weeks away from the big event, the pinnacle of my training is this week before I taper off. All I want to do is complete it. I don't have any lofty goals about keeping a 10 minute per mile pace, or even of breaking 6 hours. I just want to finish in one piece. I want to show my sons that no matter what your circumstances, you can achieve your goals and finish the race you've undertaken. I want to be fit and healthy, and have a hobby that is free (save the running shoes).
So, who am I running for? My sons. I want to be the kind of mother that they can truly be proud of, and that can keep up with them. Wish me luck! It's crunch time.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." Hebrews 12:10