A New Path
We are called to grow and develop throughout our lives. Things change, priorities change, we change.
A part of me finds it ironic that I am writing this post today about a new path for me less than a week from one of my favorite radio show hosts making a similar course redirection in his life.
As many of you may know, I was training for my 10th marathon scheduled in mid-September. I had been feeling off and my recent physical confirmed I am perfectly healthy. Everything is just as it should be and I did take a few minutes to discuss my anxiety issues with my doctor trying to ascertain triggers and what to do. The anxiety has become more bothersome recently and honestly, I don't like how that makes me feel. But with the clean bill of health I decided to forge ahead on business as planned and continue training.
The thing is, I have been cross training and investing in personal development and I know that to get where I want to be I need to change what I am doing and it hit me hard Friday afternoon.
I don't want to run the Maui Marathon in September. It is not where I want to be.
Yes, I love the idea of running marathons. Yes, I would love to run another one some day. Yes, I would love to break a 4 hour marathon. Yes, that may never happen but I do NOT want to run the Maui Marathon this September.
In a nutshell, I am tired of all the logistical and financial stress. I don't want to pay $400 for us to spend two nights on the other side of the island to "celebrate" a race that in all reality will result in more stress for me. Darling daughter will get hot and tired and want to go. Her behavior may go downhill (which I don't totally blame her for under the circumstances of being hot and tired). Dear hubby will get annoyed and walk off leaving me alone to take care of a tired and hot girl. Add in the logistics of me arranging for child care while we race, juggling horse lessons, making arrangements for Sunday School, drop off points, pick up points, packing, and potentially swapping my lector services at mass.
All this for what???
I know what you are thinking. That isn't much. Suck it up. It is part of being a mom.
Got it and I LOVE being a mom. Really love it. And that is why I get up at 4:00 am most days to get my running in early before work. So I can be more present after work with darling daughter to help her with homework, to do laundry, to cook, and to clean. All the things I love. Really, I do LOVE taking care of my family.
But darling daughter is growing and developing too. She has horse lessons twice a week that take 6 hours out of my week. Six amazing hours I wouldn't trade for the world as I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE watching her ride. Those stables are a place of serene peace for me. The thing is, to get her to lessons on time, I need to be up and running very early Saturday mornings and always know I need to be running by x o'clock to get x miles in. One snooze can mess up the whole day. One extra hug and darling daughter need can mess up the long run. And do I really want to choose that run over her? NO!
And things are just going to get tighter as she signed up for Cross Country and will have practice once a week (excused from the second practice due to horse) and a meet on Saturdays. Yep, Saturday mornings before horse! This I want her to be able to do. It means the world to me she wants to try it!
The race seems so meaningless to me right now.
Marathons are more than race day. They are the journey. And why go down this awful, stress-filled road to run 4-5 hours by myself? A medal? Who cares! They just rust over time. Trust me, I have tons. I know. At the end of the day, running isn't going to make anyone love me any more. It isn't really going to change one thing if you aren't focused on bragging rights.
I pushed forward on this path for so long for others and their expectations. I pushed forward even for dear hubby as I knew he wouldn't get it and I didn't want the added grief of him not understanding where I am coming from. But I am the one paying the price. I am the one over-stressed and I am the one experiencing more anxiety issues. I am paying more than I want to pay.
I want to be at peace and to be at peace, I need to accept what I am to do and that my path changes.
My family matters.
My daughter matters.
She matters more than a race.
She deserves a happy, peaceful mom who can stop at a moment's notice to take care of her without watching the clock saying I need to get x more miles in by x time. She needs a less rushed, less frantic, less worried mom. She deserves better.
Saturday morning I slept into 6:00 am and it was awesome! I woke up with darling daughter, we enjoyed breakfast together, and I ran and did cross training before taking her to horse. After horse, I opted to run a bit more and did a dance workout with darling daughter. We had a blast! I ran better, felt better, and performed better than I have had in weeks!
And yesterday it all sank in with Matthew 6:21, "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
I started yesterday with this verse and thought, yes, our hearts are with what we treasure. I treasure my child.
At mass, I was pushed to reflect deeper on this verse during the homily as it was pointed out at first, we may treasure earthly things. But in time, we will grow and treasure higher things. It is a matter of growth upward until we treasure Heaven.
I thought, yes, maybe letting go of the marathon is part of this growth for me!
Later in the day, I was running and started reading a new devotional book and guess what, the exact same verse came up once again. I couldn't help but laugh and explain to darling daughter how God seemed to be knocking it into my head, what you treasure will change and that is good as long as you begin to treasure better, and higher, things.
I just finished telling this story to an elderly volunteer who knows I love to run. At first he was sad I was letting go to the race but by the end of my story he looked at me and said, "You are growing up and getting your priorities right. Kids do that to you."
Yes, kids change us. They do make us better. Thank you God for darling daughter. She makes me better. Without her, I fear where I would be today.
Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for a peaceful heart.
Daily Bible Verse: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. ~ Matthew 6:21