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.