(My apologies to Johnny Cash, may he rest in peace.)
I am a MotherRunner and because of this I walk the line. I am a mother and a runner. I am a runner and a mother. But first and foremost, I am a mother who runs. I view running as my oxygen mask. When you’re flying, they always tell you that if you are traveling with children to put your oxygen mask on first and then assist the children. That’s what running is to me, my oxygen mask.
When we moved to New Orleans last June, it was with heavy hearts. Hubby’s restaurant closed and they transferred him to a new city. We loved Atlanta; it was the only home our boys remember. We left our hearts in Georgia. So we followed the job to New Orleans. This has not been an easy transition for any of us. June in NOLA felt like August in Atlanta. Hot and Humid. Then it got even hotter and even more humid. We didn’t leave the house. I kept the shades drawn and the ac at full blast. I would run in the early mornings before the sun would rise and melt the sidewalks with 100% humidity or in the early evenings when the humidity dropped but the sidewalks were melting. A few months in, hubby’s work hours changed to very early mornings and he needed to stay at the restaurant later. Thankfully, my treadmill arrived at this time. It was my saving grace. I was no longer a slave to weather or work. I then followed my marathon-training plan to a T and when I had to, I would run inside, thankful for that treadmill.
Somewhere in the midst of this, I realized that I was starting to dread my run. It started slowly at first, dread of the long runs. Then it took over my short runs and then, running in general. I noticed that I was more tired. I slept late and had a hard time getting myself started each morning. I spent all day tired and dreaming of bed, but the minute I crawled into bed, I couldn’t sleep. I was wide-awake. Headaches became the norm as well as the inability to focus or think clearly. It wasn’t until my parents came down for Christmas and my mom pointed out to me that I was depressed did I realize what was going on. I remember when the dread first entered my mind and I remember thinking that it was crazy. Even though I had that dread, I completed my runs. If it was on my training calendar, I got it done. That training calendar was the only thing that saved me.
Around New Years hubby heard that he was getting transferred, again. I am glad that we are getting out of this dark, depressing city, but this transfer means no marathon on Feb 2. All of that training flushed down the toilet. Or was it? It was the training that kept me from the throes of depression. I don’t think I would have gotten out of bed if it weren’t for my training calendar. While I am sad beyond all measure that I won’t be able to run 26.2 in two weeks, I realize the importance that my training had in my life. I am changed because of it. I am stronger because of it. It is my oxygen mask. I might have to put my racing on the back burner and be a MOTHERrunner, but it doesn’t mean that I am just a mother and not a runner. I am a mother who loves to run. I am a mother who needs to run. I am a MotherRunner and because of that, I walk the line.
It’s a great day for running y’all!