Small sacrifices, priceless rewards

If you know me or have gotten to know me through my blog, you know that I am a runner. Running is my sport of choice, the closest thing I have to a religion, way cheaper than therapy and best of all? I get to wear pretty running shoes.

For fitness, I run 3-4 times a week. When I feel the need to compete, I run 10Ks, fun runs, charity runs & half marathons. I have run exactly one full marathon & my 42yo knees threatened to leave me if I tried that shit again. Those knees will tolerate the odd half marathon though, & I have been training for the BMO Half Marathon for several months.  This weekend, I was looking forward to a beautiful run in the Vancouver sun with my favourite running partner, M. So I went through the logistics: kids with the ex? Check. Route scoped & transportation planned? Check. And most importantly: running outfit & shoes chosen? Check! Then I discovered that there was a serious conflict: my 10 year old had his first track meet this weekend & my ex had made plans that required them to be out of town. Our son was distraught & concerned about letting down his team,  disappointing his coach & reneging on a commitment he made to represent his school.

Flashback to September 2012: after our 10yo refused to join the soccer, wrestling & rugby teams at school, we pushed him to join the track team. Being more of a cerebral kid, he was reticent to do any sports at all but his dad & I felt he needed some co-curricular activities to balance his intellectual nature. Unlike our 7yo, our 10yo is prone to low self esteem and is his own worst critic. He is a naturally bright, empathetic and thoughtful child, but has no mercy when it comes to his own perceived failures.

Earlier this week, we received a note from his teacher requesting a meeting to discuss the 10yo’s lack of motivation, increased distraction &  scholastic apathy. His teacher was concerned that there may be issues at home or at school at the root of our son’s disassociation & raised the flag for us to watch for any other warning signs. Consider us fully flagged. As a single parent, I had nightmares of how I was failing as a mother, that I was in danger of letting my son slip through the cracks and chastised myself for parenting off  the side of my desk while I reignited my career. I reset my priorities and vowed to do whatever it took to ensure my son knew that his happiness & success was my life’s mission.

So this weekend, instead of carbo loading on Saturday, getting up at the crack of dawn on Sunday & running 21.2km along with 15,000 of my closest friends, I will be loudly & proudly cheering on the next generation of runners in Burnaby. I have many great memories of racing over the years: my first Sun Run, running with my brother in Victoria & doing Fun Runs with the kids. I will race another day, but I will never get another chance to see my son’s face as he finished his 200m run today. Fifth place out of six runners but I’ve never been more proud of him.

About Pamela

I’m a Vancouver-based divorced mother of two awesome boys embarking on a respectful, amicable and often humorous co-parenting adventure with their father. By day, I'm a publicist for good causes + companies at

8 Responses to Small sacrifices, priceless rewards

  1. Tamara May 5, 2013 at 10:29 pm #

    Love this post Pam. Your son (and your knees!) will love your forever!

  2. Mom May 10, 2013 at 2:59 am #

    There will be lots of runs but only one opportunity to share their accomplishments during the younger years so don’t disappoint them as those years they need you go by very fast and you wouldn’t want them to achieve in life without a proud Mom beside them.So good for you I’m sure your runner M will understand and would do the same for his child as they are 1st your life is 2nd but you won’t regret it in the future

  3. Meredith May 14, 2013 at 12:21 am #

    I could never write anything this sweet, Pamela. Nor could I ever do anything that sweet. Can’t wait for the post about you and your kiddo running your first race together.
    Love this.

    • Pamela May 14, 2013 at 1:02 am #

      Awww, Meredith! You have hidden reserves of sweetness in you, although they may have “turned” from underuse ;-) Love you longtime! xo

  4. mommy oustide May 14, 2013 at 3:45 am #

    Sounds like you made the right decision, the one that you can live with. It’s awesome that your son has stuck with track and that he thinks about that commitment also in terms of being part of the team. Sometimes we all need a little push to try something we might not have otherwise. We worry about pushing our kids too hard, and of course that happens too, but if we never pushed where would they be?

    Fifth out of six is better than I ever did in track. I am not a runner. But, like your son, I went out and ran for my team!

    • Pamela May 15, 2013 at 6:14 pm #

      Thank you, Shayna! I’m proud to be his mother every day!

  5. Tiffany May 15, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

    Love this Pam! We are constantly forced to choose between something for ourselves and something for our children. You did good Mama!

    • Pamela May 15, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

      Thanks, Tiff! xo

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