Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Middle Finger, Or Why I Run

Like most busy moms I need an outlet for my stress.  I used to use a half a bottle of red wine every night for that outlet, then I gained 50 lbs and realized maybe that wasn't such a good idea.  It SEEMED like a good plan at first....and oh so tasty good.

But. alas, over the past several months I've sort of morphed into a bit of a different person, some good and some bad, but I'm still me.  I'm a stronger, faster, less drunk me, but I'm still me.

Last fall I went on a bit of a journey and what I discovered along the way is that, despite my personal belief to the contrary, I am a bit of a competitive person.

I was never THAT competitive when I was younger, or so I thought.  I played sports for the "fun" and I set goals "just to see if I could make them", but I didn't really see the connection.  DUH.  Fast forward about 20 years, 50lbs and two kids later and I guess you could say it was the perfect storm for me to figure out that competing against myself is a hell of a way to relieve stress.

I also discovered that alcohol, while STILL SUPER FUN AND TOTALLY DELICIOUS, is not my go-to anymore for stress relief.  I don't even think about pouring myself a drink anymore when shit hits the fan, as it has MANY MANY times this fall since the kids have been in school.

If you've known me for my nearly (GASP!  SAD SIGH) 40 years you know that for me to say I don't think about drinkin' much is a bit like saying the Pope ain't Catholic.  Hard to believe.  But it is true.  Except the Pope part.  Pretty sure he's Catholic.

So I decided to make a list of the reasons why I run, instead of hitting the bottle.  Here goes:

1.  I run because of every "Brady had a good day today but_________ (fill in the blank with any transgression that a normal boy would make like making really loud mouth noises ALL.  DAY.  LONG.)  Honestly, I cringe every time I walk up to his teacher to pick him up and she makes that little crook of her finger to "summons" me to her to get the TALES OF WOE.

2.  I run because I feel like the movie Groundhog Day with my daughter.  Same script, different play.  In other words, just when I thought we were making progress last year with REMEMBERING her CRAP (aka school work) we're back to square one after a summer off, complete with a glowing sticker chart on the fridge and promised trips to the dollar store if ONLY she can REMEMBER her HOMEWORK for five days in a row.  FIVE DAYS.  IN A ROW.  That's all I'm askin'.

3.  I run because the freaking Ice Cream truck doesn't realize it's OCTOBER.  I know it's 80 degrees but for the LOVE of GOD it's time to pack it up for the season for Pete's sake.  There should be some kind of ice cream man code of ethics that dictates that they are NOT ALLOWED to drive their creepy retrofitted kid-trolling minivan full of ice cream after labor day.  Do they KNOW what kind of arguments I have to get into with the kids over why they can't buy ice cream from a van because I don't know if he's a registered sex offender and it's almost Christmas?!  You should never wear white and you should never buy ice cream from a mobile vendor after labor day. Easy peasy.

4.  I run because even though I don't have a paying job, between volunteering at the school, keeping the house clean (I giggle as I type that, not happening), grocery shopping, running errands, putting laundry away and training for a sub 2 hour half marathon in less than two weeks I can't seem to keep my schmidt together.  I can't get it all done, and I wonder on those long runs how I ever managed it all when I actually DID have a job?  I probably didn't but I don't remember that.  I just remember thinking "if I didn't have a job I could get so much done!".  If only the me of today could bitch-slap some sense into the me of yesterday....

5.  I run because of things like watching your 6 year old son flip off his 8 year old sister without even knowing you're there.  And then watching him totally lose his shit and pretend it was an "accident" and that he never ACTUALLY did it in the first place and scream and cry about how much trouble he knows he's in.  Now if ONLY I could train him that it is acceptable to flip off the ice cream man in OCTOBER when he's driving down your street........we'd be in business.

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