Sunday, January 5, 2014

Enjoying the Moments

Late last year, I made a commitment to myself to focus on becoming a better runner. Though I was an athlete all my life, I never enjoyed running. Even when I was in great shape, I didn't like to do long runs - it wasn't hard, I just found it terribly boring.  But now that I'm old, it's a great form of exercise, and I'm trying to refocus myself to think of it as quiet time with myself... So I started following an actual training plan rather than just my old 'run a couple miles once or twice a week' approach, and signed up for a few races to force myself to focus.

Anyway.  I ran my first 5k of the year yesterday. While I didn't do quite as well as I had hoped, I did break the 9 minute/mile average pace goal that I had set. But, even better, I felt great!  The run was down at the bay, so it was nice and flat and had good views. I made a point to look around while I ran, enjoy the scenery and the feel of the cool ocean air, and think about how great it felt to be out and moving. Nothing hurt, I didn't feel too tired.  Awesome! (Perhaps I enjoyed too much and would have run a bit faster if I had pushed a bit harder, but it was a really great feeling and a wonderful way to start out the new year!)

My focus for this month is to notice the moments. To lift my head up from the details and the daily grind and take in the awesome that is all around me. To sift through the chaos and enjoy the moments. To smell those flowers on my early morning run. To see the kids' smiles as they're whipping through the house with their friends, destroying everything in their paths. To relax into the hug from the husband.

Yesterday I promised J that I would be home from the 5k in time to take him to gymnastics practice. On the way to the gym, I told him I was going to do groceries and other errands while he was there, and Daddy or I would be back to pick him up. He asked me to come in and watch the first rotation of practice (they work on each piece of equipment during the 3 hours). I said I would... We got inside to be told the coaches had decided to go 4 hours instead of 3. Encroaching on a birthday party we were scheduled to attend after practice, but okay. Then warmups lasted an hour. Then the first routine they worked on was floor - J came out to tell me he didn't want me to leave after that, he really wanted me to watch high bar, which was up after floor. The old me might have said no. After all, I had errands to run. And still needed a shower before the birthday party, since I was all sweaty and stinky. And my phone battery was dying. And on and on and on. But I took a deep breath and reminded myself of the importance of moments. He won't always want Mama around. He is so proud of himself, and he works really hard on these routines and wants to see me being proud of him, too. And I smiled, and told him I'd stay through high bar. And the grin as he ran back to his team was worth every minute of changing up my plans and watching him for 2 hours, instead.

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