The Mommy PR Goal
“Mommy! Don’t go! Please!” These were the words that escaped my four-year-old’s sweet little mouth as I attempted to leave my parent’s house for a quiet run along Lake Chicot (beautiful place by the way…you should totally visit).
I love running in my hometown of Lake Village, Arkansas. Nestled along the banks of Lake Chicot, also known as the burial site of the explorer DeSoto (as legend has it, he was actually buried somewhere IN the lake itself), the immediate access to sidewalks, something severely lacking in South Louisiana–or at least in Ascension Parish–the sunrise reflecting off the lake, and the beautiful cypress trees growing along the lake’s banks, provides the perfect atmosphere for an early morning run. There’s just something about being home that energizes my need to run, and I was looking forward to using that energy to my advantage. I had set a goal for an upcoming triathlon to set a personal record, or a PR for short. But without a sitter back home, my training has been halted somewhat, and so, I was looking forward to taking advantage of the free babysitting and hitting the ground running. But, on this particular morning, my daughter had other plans.
“Take me with you, Mommy! Please!” I cringe of course, knowing full well that if I allow her to go, my run will now officially be a slow walk. But, I cannot say no to those beautiful blue eyes, nor do I want to discourage her from running…ever. And so, reluctantly, I got her dressed and off we went for our “run.”
As expected, my long run turned into a short walk, but the blessings along the way were well worth it. She and I had so much fun that day. I showed her the church that her daddy and I were married in. We walked along the banks of the lake. And when we came upon the theater built into the lake bank downtown, she put on the sweetest performance for me.
Sometimes, I get so wrapped up in what I want to do in my training that I forget to enjoy the time I have with the tiny humans. The time we are given with our children is so very short, and we have so little time with them between school and extracurricular activities. As much as I yearn for quiet time, soon, I’m going to have more quiet time than I will ever want again.
My ultimate goal right now is to hold onto the littleness as long as absolutely possible, and it took this run/walk with my daughter to remind me of what I am missing while I am off training for my next tri. Sure, a long run on the lakefront would have been amazing, but then I would have missed out on her singing to me, her “backstage” shenanigans, her joy in the purple wild flowers we found, and simply put, the joy she brings to me.
If I could give any advice right now, it would be this: Hold onto your little humans closely. Love them. Spend time with them. Make no room for regrets. Tomorrow is not promised, and today is oh so very short. When the quiet to your house returns, I promise you will not look back and think to yourself, “Man, I spent too much time playing with my kids.” You will miss the chaos and the noise, and you will have so much alone time, you won’t know what to do with yourself.
Sure, being a mom has made me the most exhausted I have ever been. But in the end, it has also made me the happiest I will ever be. So for now, let them “ruin” your run, stop for the impromptu performance and to pick the purple flowers. Make memories. And if you don’t hit a personal record this race, so be it. At least you hit a personal record at home and in the heart of your little human.