Sunday, July 17, 2011

Striking a balance

I am happy to say I have not missed any of Quin’s firsts. I was there for the first word, “nanna” or banana, first steps, even the first tantrum. "Cars 2" came out a few weeks ago, and my husband Jon and I thought this might be a good first movie for Quin because the kid lives and breathes cars. He even sleeps holding on to them, and now that he is talking a ton, I often get a call after he's gone to bed, “Mama, I can’t find my jeep.” We hear him playing in bed with them and then sneak in later to move them, so he does not roll over on one in the middle of the night.
Unfortunately, I realized I was not going to be able to go with them because the best time for the movie fell during my Saturday morning track practice. I told Jon and Quin to have fun, but deep down I was disappointed.

My coach, Bob Sevene, met me at the track and I mentioned I was going to try and catch last half of the movie. I think he sensed I was going to rush my usual warm down and stretching to make it to the theater faster. Darn him, for reading my mind. As I was about to start my warm down Sev told me, “Focus, my dear, you’re going up against women that are 100 percent committed to their running.”

I hate it when he’s right, and he always is. When I was in Spain for the cross country world championships earlier this year I realized I have been running pretty well considering I don’t treat running like a regular job. A lot of the women on Team USA start their "jobs" about 8:30 a.m. with some running, stretching and then core exercises at a gym. Then they'll head home for lunch and a nap, that will often last three hours. The day might then be capped with a second session of running or a massage or other medical treatment to keep them healthy.
Though I still get all the mileage and workouts in that I did before Quin was born, I have had to give up the little things, like massages, long recovery naps, and even driving to some different places to run, simply because there is not enough time in the day. Playdates and quality time with Quin at the park are more important to me. I have also found like most parents, that if you want to get anything done it’s only going to happen during nap time. I'm going to miss that little mid-day break. I may not have a normal schedule for an elite athlete, but so far it’s allowing me to try and be great at two things I love: being a mother and running. But as Sev pointed out, I need to do better about focusing on the task at hand.

The other day Quin found his scoot bike at Sev’s house in the corner and wanted to ride it. It’s a cute bike with no pedals, so the kids use their feet and learn balance fast because they can put their feet down. I had just finished a second run during his nap and I was tired. But Quin put his helmet on, albeit backwards, and yelled “Come on Mom. Bev, you come too” and went to the door. I grabbed my coat, and we were off again.

Sometimes I miss the days I could come in from a run and relax with a cup of coffee and a favorite show. But most of the time, I feel very fortunate to have a unique job that allows me to spend a lot of time with Quin. I did not skimp on my warm-down the other day and managed to slip into the movie with about 30 minutes to spare. It was nice to share that “first” with Jon and Quin. Life may be a little more tiring with Quin, but it is so much more fun. I am happy with the balance I have found between pursuing my own career goals and being the best mom I can be. For now, though, I will have to adopt my husband’s philosophy — I’ll sleep when I’m dead.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Blake! Sounds like you are doing a really good job at balancing it all. I struggle with balance all the time, and I sure am with you on the sleep thing :-)