Being a mom and wife while having cancer treatments, and trying to train to be a distance runner is hard. There is guilt from taking time for yourself. Also knowing as the weeks pass, as more miles pile on, more time will be needed. This past week, though, the sun was shining. My girl and I set out to do three miles together. If all failed miserably then I would carry her bike home and we would walk. But you know what? She did awesome. She rode the whole way, jabbering on the whole time. She kept a great pace and I was able to run beside her. Only one mishap when we passed two young golden retrievers and she watched them instead of where she was going and crashed into me. A few tears later we were up and back cruising along.
I learned from today. She is growing up. I need to take her along sometimes. No, I can’t take her every time. But, it was a great afternoon spent together we would has otherwise missed. We came back and had a driveway picnic with popcorn and Gatorade while I rolled out. I could have just as easily waited till Matt got home and ran while she watched tv but I’m so glad we chose to try it.
Little moments like these are great. I need to include her when I can and show her exercise can be fun. Show her what I am doing, so she understands when I leave every night it’s to be a better, stronger person, not that I’m avoiding and excluding her. It’s important to remember I spent all day with her, and taking a little time for myself is ok. It is hard somedays to think what if I’m only on earth a few more years. Is this running 32 miles more important than spending time with her? That is not a fair question.
First and foremost, I am running 32 miles for myself. I am running to prove to myself that I am strong. I am not giving up. I have to ability to complete something I put my mind to and challenge my body to be better than before cancer.
I am also running so one day when she is older she can look back as see when hard times came her mom didn’t just give up. Running makes me happy. It gives me purpose. It fuels my passion for bettering myself, overcoming obstacles, and choosing happy. Taking time for myself is not selfish. It is filling me up putting me in a better position to pour into her and others.
So, is running 32 miles more important than spending time with her? Absolutely not. But running is important for a positive attitude, healthy lifestyle, and feeling fulfilled. All are things that are important to me and I want to instill in her. The question I need to ask is, “Do I value myself enough to take time for me so I can be the best for her?” And the answer to that question is, “Yes.”
She won’t remember me being gone a few hours a week. She will remember these fun runs we took together. She will learn positive habits, the importance of healthy lifestyles. She will remember me crossing the finish line and cheering me on. She will remember how much I loved her.
Today I will not feel guilty or selfish for taking time to better myself. Today and always I will love my girl and continue to be the best mom I know how to be.