Today I woke up and decided to spend a lazy Sunday morning reading my running magazines, and some of the women runners who blog about running and their lives. Kristin Armstrong is one that really speaks from the heart, and whose vulnerabilities reach out and touch many women out there. Her blog entitled "Quiz Me" tugged at my heartstrings, not only as a mother but as a runner as well.
There are many things that women could relate to as mothers. Kristen's daughter is going through the Justen Beiber craze, while my older two went through the Jonas Brothers craze. Stephanie, my eldest, was so crazy about them.........especially Nick........that she had posters of them covering every nook and cranny in her bedroom. And I'm not kidding....they were all over her walls, ceiling and window and picture frames. It was almost scary to walk in the room!
Not one concert was missed, and in the VIP section...........no less. Now, midway through her 16th year, they have lost their prominent position, but will probably always have a special place in her heart.
And yet I look back and I can say she was being true to herself. She was expressing her feelings through her love for their music, and particularly, the lyrics. While most of her friends and students in her grade disliked this band, Stephanie had the courage to be unique and true to herself.
I believe that we all have to be true to ourselves in order to be really happy. Unfortunately most of us aren't. We care far too much about other people's needs, and what they want. We care far less for what we, as individuals, want and need.
Kristin said in her blog that "Maybe the most important preparation takes place when no one is looking, when no one is there to say better hurry up or good job. It's simply us and the task at hand. We can choose to push it or blow it off, and no one but us will ever know the difference.
But as Kristin, and many of us know.........there is a difference.
Whether we are battling cancer, bringing up children to be happy and true to themselves, or preparing for the next half marathon, we definately know the difference. It should not matter if anyone is beside us or not. We are fighting cancer because we believe there's so much more to give in life. We should strive to bring up our children in order to honour their spirit and unique personalities, and encourage them to follow what's in their heart (much harder to do than anyone thinks). We should train as hard and as faithfully; whether we are running with our group, our running partner or by ourselves.
And it's when we're alone that's the most challenging. We stand alone with only ourselves to impress. But then that biggest challenge brings the most rewards! The gratefulness of living cancer free......... the pride of watching your children growing up as confident young women who are following their dreams.......... and the thrill of running over that finish line 13.1 miles later. These are all the satisfactions we get by being true to ourselves, and putting in the effort when no one's around. The reward? There are many.........but there's nothing like feeling the respect of the loved ones around you, or the knowledge that those close to you will be open enough to talk honestly about your feelings, or know what you need...even if you don't ask!