Sunday, January 16, 2011

Combat Baby

After going to church this morning with the kids, making lunch, & getting a few things done around the house I realized that I would have to lug the laundry over to dad's house before going to the gym to get on the spin bike. I dreaded both of those things because, well, I would like the convenience of doing laundry here in my own home, & I would rather be out seeing the beautiful countryside on the saddle of my own bicycle than in a dark room at the gym going nowhere, fast. Happy to have these options, as opposed to a washboard & clothesline &/or no bike at all, I set off. It's dangerous, sometimes, for me to have this much alone time because I start to think... ... ... this was no exception. I went looking for a towel at dad's house & was sidetracked by my great-grandmother's beautifully handmade afghans: one of which I hijacked - don't tell my dad ;) I stumbled upon some old photos too.

Photos of me playing with my little brother & cousins, photos of me at the zoo, photos of me in pigtails eating a Popsicle in my underwear on the front porch, Halloween photos, picnics & birthdays & Sunday dinner at grandmas...

Young, carefree, & completely unaware of what it means to have responsibilities, deadlines, obligations, errands, bills, bills, & more bills. I also saw a lot of photos of my grandma, great-grandma, my mom... Strong, wonderful women that I looked up to & wanted to be like, one day. I was very reflective about all of these things as I clipped my shoes onto the spin bike & started riding. Started thinking about all the things that have been happening in our lives, all the added stress... & I felt extreme happiness. I have my health, a roof (well, um, sort of), & my family.

Here's a photo of me today on the spin bike. Grown up Kerrie, alone in a dark room, spinning on a bike for hours on end & headed nowhere. Cynical, jaded... But this isn't what my kids will see years from now when they look through family photos. They'll see photos of them running through the sprinklers, photos of them at the carnival, birthdays, picnics, barbeques, sparklers on the fourth of July... & photos of my mother, grandmother, & even ME. Strong women that they want to be like.

I realized today that I have a lot to be thankful for. One of the greatest things I have right now that I can reach for, when everything else seems to be falling apart, is running (or just endurance sport, in general). Even through all that has been facing us in these last few weeks, I still have running. For just a moment in time I can still be that little girl: carefree, unaware of responsibilities, deadlines, obligations, errands, bills, bills, & even more bills. I can achieve, I can get stronger, I can push myself, & I can just plain have fun. I'm so blessed & lucky to be able to do these things. So many of us are laden with obligation & responsibility, leaving little time for ourselves. It's not only fun, but necessary to step out of those roles for just a moment & just. be. you. Even though things seem to be crumbling around us, it's important to hold on to those mainstays so we don't lose sight of the big picture & what we are trying to ultimately accomplish.

One day, when I'm an old lady, I'll have all those race day photos. I'll think about how young, strong, & carefree I looked. I don't want to have any regrets, so I will try to always remember this advice to myself: whatever it is that's important to you in life, do those things regardless of what else may be going on. Things will eventually fall into place. You just have to fight through it. With that being said, even though my house is a complete disaster, I'm headed to make a pot of homemade soup with the kids, followed by a batch of chocolate chip cookies.

Props to Metric for giving me the idea for the title. Great album to listen to on the spin bike, by the way.

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