just me and the pavement

IMG_8396 There is something absolutely essential about a mother setting out to do something hard.  She needs it for herself and her children need to watch her.  Of course, mothering already falls under the category of doing something hard, but when a woman sets a personal goal, she becomes more and in doing so, becomes more for her children.

Before our challenge started, I began a two month training for a 10k (6.2 miles).  My objective was to build up enough endurance to run the entire race without stopping.  Not finding a race on a Saturday, I decided I would train the same way and organize my own personal race fo the big day.

I mapped out a route close to home, had my cheerleaders lined up for the finish line, and Saturday came.

I ran it.  Not fast, but my own pace.  Bobby even had carefully placed a water bottle along the route for me to swipe up as I went.  The race went better than I had planned, too.  And all I kept thinking along the way was how glad I was that I at least tried.

My planning, my scheduled workouts, talks to the kids about my goal, sacrificing other things to train, disappointments when I'd miss a long run, greater determination the following week, fun runs with the girls through the neighborhood, second guessing myself the week before the race, anxiety the morning of and the calm that came the moment I began the first step Saturday...

These experiences, from the beginning of the idea until the end, change us.  I see it in Ann's Yoga for Congo Women--- what a huge personal goal, personal objective that her children have watched for months upon months, as their mother has organized an entire event.  Have her children watched her determination?  Yes.  Have they seen her totally discouraged?  Yes.  Have they seen their mother fight and fight for something she wants desperately?  Yes.  Is she teaching them something beyond what any text could teach them?  Yes.

Now I understand that working for something hard is one of the greatest gifts I can give to my children. IMG_8399 IMG_8400

What have you personally given to your children?