Friday, June 24, 2011

"I just felt like running!"

"That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. So I ran to the end of the road. And when I got there, I thought maybe I'd run to the end of town. And when I got there, I thought maybe I'd just run across Greenbow County. And I figured, since I run this far, maybe I'd just run across the great state of Alabama. And that's what I did. I ran clear across Alabama. For no particular reason I just kept on going. I ran clear to the ocean. And when I got there, I figured, since I'd gone this far, I might as well turn around, just keep on going. When I got to another ocean, I figured, since I'd gone this far, I might as well just turn back, keep right on going."
                                                     --Forrest Gump

That kind of describes my run today.  I didn't run across the continental United States twice, but I decided to run a new route until I reached the windmills out amongst the hills above where I live.  I had no idea how far away they were, but I kept thinking that if they ended up being too far away, I'd just turn back and call it a good run.  When you run a route where you have no idea how far you've gone, it makes running into something different, especially you have no idea when you're going to turn around and head for home.  I got to the last house up the first hill and literally thought to myself, "Well, I've gone this far, I guess I'll just keep on going."  At each landmark, I had a decision to make, I suppose.  Go on or turn around.  Each time, I'd think, "I've come this far, I guess I'll just keep on going."  The hills and wide fields of green were spectacular.  I didn't want to think about the point at which I'd have to come back down to reality and turn around and head for home.  Over each hill, would come another one, the road stretching as far as you'd ever want to go and the silent giants spun in the wind over my head.
   You see, I've had a long week.  My husband has been in Boise for the last 4 days at an educational conference and so running took a back seat to maintaining the house, keeping the kids alive along with the budding grass outside, and everything else that comes with being a single parent for 4 days.  Perhaps that's why I just kept on going.  The hills were tough and got me breathing hard, but mostly, it was one of the more enjoyable runs I've ever had.  My mind organizes itself when I run.  Life didn't seem as complicated today as I ran toward those beautiful hills and the towering windmills.  At the top of one of the hills, I stopped for a minute and looked behind me.  Spread out below I could see everything from Shelley to Ucon.  It was magnificient and it brought a smile to my face. 
   As I started my run that day, as I ran away from my house, I started to feel less like a mom and more like an athlete.  I'm not sure if others will think that's a good mindset to have, but it's what I was thinking.  At times, being a mother makes me feel like a domestic servant, whose only conversation includes which kid has been suffering from diarhea at the moment or which child has developed an allergy to -insert food item here--.  As I continued to run, I felt more like an athlete; a person who was trying to overcome her body's limitations to achieve some kind of success outside of "Hey, I didn't burn dinner tonight!"  I've always admired atheletes for their determination and their ability to do that which all the rest of us think is too freaking hard.  So a smile comes to my face as I leave the mom behind and I head toward the athelete.  But then, here I was, at the top of the hill with a breathtaking view having just run, well, I wasn't quite sure yet of the mileage, but judging by the dot that is my house, I've run pretty dang far and I find that I'm not thinking so much about the distance, I'm more so thinking of the week I just survived.  Yeah, that's right, I thought I had left the mom behind, but there she was with me!  Why? 
   Sitting there for 10 minutes or so, under the canopy of windmills and the gently swaying grass did wonders for my thinking ability.   She (the mom) was there because the same person that survived a week alone with 4 kids and a house with a gigantic amount of yard work is the same person who just ran up and down hills to get to the windmills.  I'm not one or the other, I'm both.  With a smile on my face, I head for home, which has now occurs to me, it's quite a ways away.  It's kind of hard to tell if being a mother has made me a better runner, or if being a runner has made me a better mom.  Does it matter?  The point is that each morning when I wake up too tired to deal with 4 kids, I'll let the endurance runner take over.  On days when I feel too weak to get my butt out onto that road for another 5 miles, I'll let that kicka-- mom take over and get it done.   And then some days, we're both too tired and we just say, "To heck with it," and that's just how it goes.  I guess what I'm saying is that I'm grateful for these two sides of me, because I need all the help I can get.

P.S-  I found out later that I ran 8 miles; 4 to the windmills and 4 back.



cleggclan said...

I think this was one of my favorite posts. You're a great writer and I felt like I was there with you. It sounds beautiful! It also made me want to go out and run! Mission Accomplished right? But for tonight, my "mom" side wins as I am watching extras and will have a house full of 8 kids tonight. Cest la vie I guess. Friday nights are my super mom night while I watch other people's kids so that they can date since my husband works anyways... Too bad we dont live closer so I could watch your kids too! :)

Anna said...

Wow, taking all the kids each Friday?! You're amazing!!! It's always hard to find time to go running, just keep trying!! Thanks for the nice comments.

Kristan said...

After reading this post, I am glad I dragged my exhausted sleep deprived “Mom” butt out of bed this morning for a run. I always feel so much better after I go and for a half hour or so can be that athlete you talked about. Just wish I had some cool windmills to run to. Sounds amazing.