I just started running again after my last baby. I use “again” loosely here, because I’m a fairly new runner. Until four years ago, I pretty much hated running. To me it was the definition of masochism because why would someone run, when they could walk and actually enjoy themselves? Or drive, for that matter. But a friend invited me to run with him for a cause he supported, I didn’t die during the event, and my love for running began.
My favorite run is a 5-mile route around a lake near my house. It’s peaceful, inspiring, and often has some of the best sunrises anywhere. Like the past few weeks, I met one of my best friends KJean. We started run… ning… and… talk…..ing……. (because that’s what it sounds like at 6:30 when I run), and a moment later, when we erupted into laughter about something, the gnats attacked.
I mean mouth-ful, in-the-eyes, in-the-nose, cloud of gnats. Gross just doesn’t really cut it. And the fact that it was so gross we burst into even wilder laughter didn’t help the problem!
Fortunately, we only hit a few more gnat clouds the rest of the run. But that first one really left an impression (besides the gnats I was pulling out of my hair and ears the rest of the morning!) You see, the reason I fell in love with running was two-fold: it gave me a reliable break I could feel good about taking from my kids who have special needs, and that few moments of “runner’s high” releases and inspires me with ideas for my life.
Both those aspects are so crucial for me to endure my run in life as a mom raising kids with special needs. There is nothing I can do about the fact that some days, I wake to screaming, angry, anxious kids who would just as soon hurt me as hug me because of their biochemistry for the day. Even with consistent parenting strategies, there’s very little I can do to prevent the damage to walls and furniture that come with a mood-swing tantrum. And the fact that my 7 1/2 year old foster/adopted kiddo still pees her anxiety out around the house, and that I have to consistently consequence her and hold her to responsibly cleaning it up (even if it takes two hours to do…), well, it’s part of my run in this life.
I’m glad I have great running buddies to get through those really buggy parts, like today. It’s totally worth the mouthful of gnats, just to laugh with a friend until my gut hurts!
And while we’re on that topic, I’d like to recommend another blogger I’ve discovered who has a wild story and wonderful writing style. Check her out for some amazing perspective on a life with intense challenges! The Bipolar Diva: I’m Not Sure What to Do