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February 6, 2012

Staying the Course

Staying the Course

Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second. 
~ William James

I broke my own running record yesterday.

Never mind how far I went or what the prior distance was. I finished the run quietly sitting at my friend Wendy’s kitchen table watching our kids play. It was Sunday morning. Friday night I had returned home very late from Cleveland, Saturday I was up at 5 to prep for each of my boys having separate sports tournaments in a city almost an hour away at different locations. Saturday night one at a slumber party, the other another social event. I was sweaty and tired – my day ahead involved laundry, errands, homework and a Super Bowl party. Monday was starting to look restful.

And quietly, I am smiling to myself because I just accomplished something – something just for me – in the midst of it all. I don’t need to share.

My life sometimes feels like a series of sprints and obstacle courses. I may not be a trained runner, but I am a trained mom, coach, chauffeur, business woman, traveler and friend. I am an endurance athlete in life.

Years ago, I gave up the idea that my life would magically become less busy, less stressful, less of anything. Mostly, it seems to become more…and I often feel like my task it to figure out how to stay on course each day, how to keep going and not just give up.

Some part of it has been managing expectation. As a self-professed perfectionist, I have had to really think hard about what things need to be perfect (and thus require that level of attention) versus what can be adequate versus what really just needs to get done at any cost even if it’s kind of sloppy.

When I chose to try and fit running into my already crazy life, I also recognized that it was going to have to be managed in the same way. Some days, I get a nice relaxed block of time, I can plan a nice run outdoors, I can create a custom playlist of music, I can take a long log shower afterwards and not worry about the next thing on the list.  Other days I am watching my time running on the treadmill, simultaneously making sure one kid has his bed made and the other his homework completed and the phone is ringing and no one can find clean socks….

And those are most of the days, trust me. Often I think I am insane to be doing this – If I have extra time, I must have something more important to do. At least I should catch up on sleep.

But then I get one of those other days. Like yesterday.  I sit quietly and happily with my little personal accomplishment and I feel content. This is for me. This thing – running – that I was not even sure I could do – I can keep doing because it is mine and mine alone. And some days, not only does it not exhaust me, it puts a wind at my back and pushes me on.

Even if it only carries me to Monday.

Here’s to the start of a great week.

Jacqueline

2 Comments

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  1. Melissa Huizinga
    February 6, 2012 at 7:12 pm #

    Loved this. Thanks for sharing!

    • Jacqueline Jacques
      February 6, 2012 at 8:09 pm #

      Melissa – love your beautiful blog! Did not know you had it.