Square Peg, Round Hole
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
I have a feeling this may turn more personal and less fitness...but I've been feeling guilty lately about my lack of half marathon training. I have planned to run one in October, though I haven't signed up yet. Training isn't going. I think part of it is that I am trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. I 100% believe you can do anything and that every person has time for fitness. But I also believe in doing what works for your life at the time you're in it. A half right now is not what makes sense for my life and I'm tired of holding on to guilt. I don't even want to so much do it as do it for tradition's sake.
I've done a lot of cool things in the past few years. Half marathons, a marathon, bootcamp class, kickboxing class, boxing class, lunch runs, early morning runs, late at night runs, lifting classes. I've hiked, I've biked, and I've walked. I've run when it was 106 degrees out and I've run on ice and snow. And every single one I did because it made sense for my life and I was into it at the time. I wasn't trying to force it.
One of the best times of my life was shortly after splitting from my husband, I spent that first summer loading our daughter up into the stroller and taking 5 mile walks. I thought a lot. I was in my own head a lot. I just enjoyed it. And it made sense for that period in my life. I could just load the kiddo up and go. We went everywhere on foot that summer. I shed a lot of weight that way, but it wouldn't be a practical weight loss strategy now. She's now six, and not easily portable. We go on walks and bike rides, but she's on her own feet or bike and she goes slow and not as far as I could take her myself back then.
I've got to live in the now. So I've been making some plans for fall, and they include a lot of new things that make sense for my life now. Without the things I've done as building blocks, I wouldn't be here now.
In some ways, my goals are less athletic. Because that's where I'm at. This fall, I have the kiddo almost 100% on my own. I still have workout options, but they're less desirable. I can do things around the home either with her or workout videos, which I'm currently burned out on after last spring's p90x and insanity run.
This fall I'd like to:
Coach soccer (I'm already doing this - two days a week it provides some informal exercise. I drip with sweat without even realizing I'm moving)
Take bike rides with my daughter (already doing this and will continue as often as possible)
Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity (that's exercise right? and this has long been on my list to do)
On a weekend, go on scenic bike tour with friends (Fall is a great time for this and I've already been scouting locations and contacting friends to try to get this going!)
It hurts not to have a race on that list. It hurts not to run. I won't go into why I can't right now, but it's just generally not possible most of the time. I'm hopeful that winter will be better because last winter I fell in love with freezing runs!
On a personal level, I feel like this might be a turning point of sorts. I feel like my interests are expanding and I'm working towards a bigger picture. I spent the majority of my 20's just looking to survive and come through some challenges ok. Now I'm either having the quarterlife crisis I should have had then, or my midlife crisis early because I'm in between those ages and trying to figure out where I should land.
I had the best childhood I can imagine anyone having. My parents married at 22 and started having kids at 24. My dad was a writer and my mom stayed at home with us when we were little, and worked odd jobs as we got older. This shaped who I was a lot. I didn't know any career women or single moms. My moms friends all stayed at home with their kids and did not have college degrees (but seemed so happy!) I went to college because I had nothing better to do. Majored in English because my dad was a writer and I was fairly good at it too. But I never really had any career plans. I had no idea of what that really looked like. I hoped to just get married and have kids like my mom.
Which somewhat lead to me having a child just after turning 24 (just like my mom!). But surprise to me, the marriage part...not so much. I've had to be a lot of things I don't have a template for. I am still fighting the urge to shove a square peg in a round hole. I want the happiness I grew up with, but I'm so far taking a different path.
Being a single career mom has given me different opportunities. Without a husband and more children to nurture, I have more time to do other things. In the past, that has meant running half marathons and a marathon. Currently it means taking on a coaching role and some small volunteer work. In the future, I hope that it means taking on a lot of volunteer work and a career in giving back somehow.
I have no template and I'm flying off script by this point, but I feel like it's meant to be this way. That it's time to embrace a life of something more. I've been given some unique opportunities and I can either sit here feeling guilty and forcing that square peg or embrace the chance to move forward in a new way.