Monday, May 10, 2010
i've been a little slack about posting about the reason i'm running the 1/2 marathon. Youth Homes provides shelter,however temporary or permanent, to children in need. i did not grow up in the perfect home...and my parents will be the first ones to admit this...but i grew up and still have both parents, married and available to meet my needs. at 36... i am a single parent. i know how hard it can be to raise a child alone. many times, over the past 15 years, i have cried alone in the night, trying to release the frustration and anger or anxiety and fretfulness that such a huge responsibility can lay on a person... but i never thought, until lately what a responsibility it can lay on a child... until i met jake. jake is a friend of my daughter's. he lives in one of the Youth Homes. i cant tell you how i met him without identifying him. but everyone who knows jake, knows that he lives in foster care. i saw him last summer.he was talking to my auntie. i asked her his story. his mom is a drug addict and his dad was never around. if you ask jake, he will be the first person to tell you that being removed from his mother's care, gave him a chance. he is a grown-up in a young man's body. he wants and needs the same love and care that my child needs, yet he has been left to make adult decisions. i heard him talk about what he will do when he turns 18, the official age to "age-out" of foster care.... he decided to stay in the group home he lives in until graduation. if he does not, he will not have assistance to find a place to live or health insurance if he needs it.... when i was jake's age, i didnt worry about health insurance, i worried about what i was going to wear tomorrow.... hes a great kid...involved in sports and music and whatever else he can find to fill his life with a little bit of joy. and as i run, i think about him. i think about all the kids i know and the people that i love who have been in that system for good or for bad... jake loves my daughter. and we love him. he will graduate in june and then truly be on his own....he wants to make it on his own. i want to, like every mother, even though i am not his, catch him when he falls.... each step i take is a wish for him...a prayer for his life...that it can be better than what it has been. one of my daughter's favorite songs is "we are the world". "we are the one's to make a brighter day, so lets start giving..." as i write this, i am trying to figure out how to make more of an immediate impact on jake's life than just wishes and prayers...he has changed my life and opened my heart.... "there's a choice we're making, we're saving our own lives, its true we make a better day...just you and me.."
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Sometimes the hardest thing we can do is not what we want to, but what we should do. Jb, Rose and I completed Bloomsday on Sunday. I was not trained to run bloomsday in any way shape or form. My illness, as undiagnosed as it is, is also unrelenting sometimes. I'm tired, run down and in pain. Sometimes one part of me will feel better, only to have another feel worse. So I ran the first 2 miles. ooooooohhhhh how i loved it, i had my rhythm going, my ipod blaring and I was feeling it. Mentally, I was totally prepared. I was reaching for a new challenge and I thought that challenge was to run with a partner. I love to run by myself. I HATE to run with other people and I mean other people running beside me, wanting to keep up with me and chat... when i run by myself there is no one to compare me to but me...when somebody else runs with me as a running partner...truly, i think good god this is going to kill me...because i compare your better form, the fact that you can talk and run so effortlessly at the same time...that your nose doesnt seem to be running all over... I have great difficulty being alone and running was a great lesson in learning to be ok with that. It liberated me to take care of myself alone. the beginning of mile 3 is the first hill. its a little steep and feels better to walk than run. so i briskly cruised to the top...i started to run again....and then another hill. my running partner said his knee felt a bit creaky.... why can i make adjustments for other people's injuries but not my own? so we walked and agreed to walk the next 2 miles. it was relaxing and releasing. somehow making the adjustment for his injury also release me to make an adjustment for mine about a mile later. i walked and kept walking and wondered to myself when did walking 7.5 miles become not good enough? we had agreed to try to trot in for the last 2 miles. i started and i stopped. started and stopped. knowing that my time was already longer than last years i let go of expectations and complaints against myself. i could feel my knee starting to ache and i thought about what jb and rose had both asked me to do before the race...listen to my body and not hurt myself so that tomorrow i would feel worse. i cant ask my daughter to be responsible if i am not. she's in track and rather than win every event her coach asks them only to achieve pr's---personal records. coming to bloomsday, i wanted to achieve a new pr--to be faster than i was last year. last year my pr was to run the entire race. i walk and ran the last 2 miles until i could see the finish line. then i ran in across that line knowing that having conquered other ghosts in my mind was a greater victory than if i had won....a true personal record... and by the way i didnt win...