Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Training for Real Life

I haven't posted in the past couple of weeks because, quiet frankly, I've been a bit of a wreck. My oldest daughter started third grade at a new school. After three years at the neighborhood Catholic grade school, we decided to give the public school a try. It's a public Montessori school and she's now starting her second week. Begrudgingly. She's tired of getting up an hour earlier to climb on the bus, misses her old friends, and isn't so happy about the change in general. As if going back to school after a summer off with Mom and Little Sister isn't hard enough. Once she's off and running, though, things seem just fine. But she keeps asking about going back to her old school (which, by the way, I'm missing terribly too!).

As a mom I'm inclined to scoop her up my arms and start home schooling (she actually thinks it's a great idea! ACK!). Get rid of all that discomfort and reassure her every chance I get.

As an athlete, however, I want to tell her something like Suck it up, Hon! or Keep going! You'll be glad you did it! There is a whole slew of rants that go through my mind as I try to press on during a painful training run or race; seems like a lot of them could apply here.  

Truth is, as parents we don't always know what is best for our kids. It's not natural for us to encourage pain on our children, no matter how insignificant that pain may seem in the larger playing field of life.  It's true, no one said life would be easy but as a parent it's hard not to try making life easier for our kids.

So, I'll take a lesson from my marathon training. I'll try to picture my daughter a few miles (er, months, years) down the road. And I'll use that as a compass for my husband and I while determining the best path for her. If she runs some hard miles now, what will the payoff be later? Or maybe she's put in the hard work and now it's time for some rest and recovery. I guess only time will tell.

I like to think fitness provides an excellent framework for parenting and for life. Priorities, hard work and sometimes even kindness to self. How has fitness helped you make decisions off-court?


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