I have said a million times that I run…not for the calories burned, or the junk food earned. Not for the pounds lost or the medals won. No…the one thing that gets me out the door 99 times out of 100 is pride.
Like so many of my friends, I’m very hard on myself. I look at my filthy carpets and worry I’m failing at keeping my family in a clean home. I look at the dinner on the stove and hate that I’m phoning it on in meals so many times lately, sticking with the old standards instead of trying anything interesting or new. I look at the minimal hours I spend to hang with the kids, and how much of it is spent yelling, and I worry I’m no where close to the Mother my kids deserve.
I have a friend who knits and I know she get’s her pride from the gorgeous scarves or shalls she makes. I have a friend who glows with pride when she shows of her latest quilt. I know friends who feel pride in the food they prepare or in the work they do away from home.
I think it’s beyond imperative that we all have something that we do that allows us to feel that sense of pride. We’re all going to be hard on ourselves, feel guilty for things we shouldn’t feel guilty for. So I have decided it’s necessary that I find something to feel proud for in my life. Something to counterbalance the times I hate myself for yelling at my kids, or ordering pizza, or missing soccer games. Something to bring me up when I’m feeling down. Something that makes me look at myself with love, instead of frustration. Something that I look at and say, “Holy shit. I’m awesome.”
And that’s why I run.
Because this weekend was hard. Wes is in a tough phase that involves a lot of stripping and punching. (Don’t ask.) Nikki has entered some sort of emotional downward spiral where – if she gets in trouble once – she cries for hours and declares the day, “THE WORST DAY EVER!” I don’t see E as much anymore as he has so many obligations that take him away from home. I looked at things this weekend and wondered, “Did I screw up somewhere? Is it too late to ask for a do-over?”
But I ran a 50K Saturday. And no amount of self-doubt could un-do that. I felt awful that my daughter couldn’t find her library book. I wished I could have given my husband more than 5 minutes of my time this weekend. I hate that I’m just now washing E’s favorite jeans. But no matter how many of these things make me feel like a crappy failure, they still won’t undo my 50K. I ran that thing…31 miles…and the pride I feel I’ll carry with me forever. Like a quilt for a friend or a scarf for a neighbor. Like a great meal prepared for a family gathering or a good day at the office. We all need something to make us feel proud to help us overcome the self-doubt.
And that’s why I run.