I still can’t believe I finished a marathon but I did and the truth is this marathon was personal. It wasn’t my idea; the idea came to life after a good run and a few beers between my husband and a new Houstonian friend while I was out of town…but I digress…and don’t worry; we are all still friends.
I signed up. I was going to do this. Moving to Houston further proved to me that you don’t get what you want, you get what you need, and I was going to conquer this city instead of letting it conquer me. Months of long runs and lots of inquiring minds would prove that this marathon was a lot more than that.
Running is a big part of my life, and my first attempt at a marathon didn’t end well. When my son was nine months old, I signed up for the New Jersey Marathon feeling good and ready except I wasn’t. Due to some issues healing, my son was born via C-section, I was advised to drop out, and it felt like defeat, but you know a lot of 2017 felt like defeat, so it was just par for the course. Once I finally got down to Houston, officially, it was time to put all of that behind me.
So many people ask me, “How do you do all this as a mom?” This question doesn’t offend me at all. Physically becoming a mother is the reason I had to drop out of training for my first intended marathon. I get it. Ask away, please. A small child, a full-time job, travel, a new home, a husband who travels regularly, throw training for a marathon on top of that and yeah it looks a little nuts. How could I prioritize the goal of finishing a marathon with all of that going on? The question about doing everything as a mom, the question all moms are destined to get at one point or another, is deep. Sometimes being a mom has everything to do with it and sometimes it has nothing to do with it.
Being a mom didn’t necessarily change who I am as a person, it is an extension of who I am. I have personal goals and needs outside of my son just like he will have one day. I want to show him by example what it takes to meet those goals. We also have goals together just like any family does. If all of our moves and our challenges have taught me anything, it’s that no matter what we work towards I want to be able to look him right in his big brown eyes and assure him we can do it because we are always in it together.
H.G. Wells said, “If you fell down yesterday, stand up today.” I keep looking back in disbelief that I finished the Houston Marathon, but then I realized that I’ve conquered so much more during a time that just seemed to knock me down at every turn. A time where I had to forget about circumstances and make things happen anyway. A time where I didn’t have the luxury of “if” and “maybe” because things would happen regardless of how I felt about them. This was when I had to dig deep down into my old self, remember who I am and also deep down into my new self as a mom and who I want to be. A marathon is hard, but I promise you, while similar in some respects, it isn’t harder than that.
So look at everything you’ve done when you thought you weren’t strong enough and imagine what you can do now.