It's been about two weeks since my last marathon and a lot has been going on. Grace, my younger daughter, has decided she wants to play goalie for her soccer team. This has involved daily shooting sessions with me, a new pair of goalie gloves (yes, I am a sucker) and the sound of a ball bouncing on everything in the house, 24/7, as she works on her saves. Both of my girls have finally decided on their Halloween costumes (Grace, a devil and Rosie the 'Rock' in a Rock, Paper, Scissors trio), thank goodness as this tends to be a long and somewhat stressful process. Not kidding. Oh, and my nephew turned 15 and is now driving. WHAT??!! On a more serious note, though, some bigger things have unfolded as well. After four weeks, Rosie was told that her broken foot is fully healed and got clearance to ditch the boot and start tumbling again. Rosie is a mover and asking her to be still is like telling a jumping bean not to jump. She's also not the most patient child; no idea where she gets that. She had a few days in this four week window where I could tell she was a little depressed, which we rarely see with her. Silver lining? I'm 100% certain that she now appreciates her body and all that it does for her on a whole new level.
Rosie back in flight
Also, my high school cross country team raced against their rivals and lost. There is just no way to sugar coat it, losing blows. And while I was incredibly proud of my team for giving it their all and told them as much, it still doesn't take away the sting of the loss. But, dwelling on a sub-par performance, as we all know, does nothing for anyone. You learn from it and you move on. Less than a week later, the girls and I headed off to race against a different and bigger set of schools. When they lined up again, it was with fresh legs and, more importantly, a fresh outlook. Their hearts and heads were back in the game and because of this they ran beautifully, both teams (Freshman and Varsity) taking the win.
There are a few takeaways for me as I look back on these last couple weeks. First, and foremost, life is nuts and there is so much more going on than my own training and racing. While running is incredibly important to me, it's not everything. And it's good for me to get this reminder on a regular basis. Second, we all go through really challenging, life-altering events every once in a while. Good or bad, they help us grow and make us realize who we are and why that is important. They also help us remember how unbelievably lucky we are and to always appreciate the little things in life. And last, we have to expect the unexpected. Stuff gets thrown at us all the time that we're neither prepared for or even remotely capable of dealing with. And, yet, we have to deal with it because we don't have a choice. And, most likely, when we get through it, regardless of the outcome, it will change who we are, the way we think and maybe how we approach things in the future. And that's a good thing as far as I'm concerned.
Rainbow covered trees along the Arlington bike path.
I will say that I've been running through all of it. My body has craved the movement and my mind the time to check out. Since I'm not worrying as much about distance and pace, I've had the ability to stop mid-run and take it all in for a change, and that has been incredibly rewarding. As it has done for so many years, running has kept me stable and I'm so grateful to have it. That and coffee.
Listen to this:
Rainmaker - Sleigh Bells