She called to say, “Never carry a chocolate protein bar in your purse as it could melt to your cell phone.”
Now you’ve got to know my Mom to appreciate this wisdom… she’s anti-Facebook, still pays for a land line and her cell phone is a pre-paid bitty from Cricket she NEVER turns on. (I’ve tried telling her it doesn’t cost extra to leave it on but I think she worries about roaming.) She’s a soda kills, Jesus saves, give what you have away kind of gal… but for all of our differences; (and there are a few!), it’s uncanny how much we’re the same.
Last night I called her for some motherly advice. When finished, I spent a few minutes telling her how much I appreciate everything she’s done for me during my 38+ years on the planet.
Note: For a lot of years she was a single parent raising two kids on the mean streets of Norfolk, Nebraska. For not having much, surprisingly my brother and I turned out better than okay. Two things I specifically thanked her for were my straight chicklets and my college education… even if we had to eat Hamburger Helper for a year by gawd my teeth were going to be straight. Thanks, Mom.
Then the conversation turned to my half-Ironman training:
Mom: How’s it going?
Me: I’m in the messy phase.
Mom: What does that mean?
Me: As the miles increase, I’m becoming 50 shades of crazy.
Mom: You know, it feels like this [training] has consumed your life. I’d rather see you be consumed by happiness.
Me: It HAS consumed my life. And I agree Mom, there is a fine line between doing something well and punishing yourself.
Mom: You’re a joyful person, Brook. You should be spreading happiness to other people. Maybe after this you can change your focus. What about taking a spinning class? I don’t even know what that is but it might be fun for you.
Me: It’s riding a stationary bike, Mom.
Mom: Oh. Well, maybe if you changed your focus you could find a new way to stay fit and trim without breaking any more ankles and/or feet. You might have a lot less anxiety, too.
She’s right… on every level that matters, she’s right.
Full Disclosure: My Mom has never really been too hip on exercise, and if you asked her, she’d probably tell you she’s allergic to sweat. When I was a kid, she would pop Neil Diamond into the tape deck first thing in the morning, (before Paul Harvey), and do a wild array of leg lifts to ‘Forever in Blue Jeans’ and ‘America’. That was the extent of it. So when she sees me out week after week wrecking my body for a finish line, there is an obvious disconnect which is okay… you only know what you know, right?
After we hung up, I thought a lot about what she said. It also prompted me to work through a few hard truths.
If I’m honest… with you, my Mom, myself, whomever, I don’t love tri training. It’s messy, time consuming, hard, expensive and really not all that much fun for me.
The first time around, I trained to prove I COULD.
This time, my only goal was/is to get better.
But after 5 long months of ass busting, ‘better’ is losing its luster. (Says the girl who was up at 4:00 a.m. to ride 40 miles on her trainer and then run 8 miles before work today.)
So, here’s where I’m shaking out: I’ve got 40 days until I’m standing in the sand on the shoreline of the Boulder Reservoir. And I’m going to make that start line at all costs. (Strong and injury-free, too.) But on the 41st day, I’m going to ‘hang it up’ for the summer and spend some time spreading happiness instead.
P.S. If you’re a Mom, Happy [early] Mother’s Day! Thank you for sharing your light, (and your amazing little people!), with the world. And to my own Mom – I love you. God knew exactly what he was doing when he gave me you.
P.S.S. You know you’re on the bike trainer for far too long when your coffee pot shuts off and you’re still riding. Ugh.
P.S.S.S. I’m taking my bike into the shop today to have the derailer cleaned – there goes another $110. I should learn to do some of this sh*t myself.