Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Day 9: Coming Clean

We have traded running shoes & road for aprons & the kitchen floor.
I had good intentions to run today but the Thanksgiving day prep is in full effect around here. My “track” for running today is my kitchen floor. And to be clear,  I’m sure if I was wearing my pedometer, I could prove that I have tracked more miles racing around my house cleaning and prepping food than I would have on a run. Taking a page from yesterday’s blog, I’m letting my legs “rest” (if I can even call it that with all this prep work).

I fully believe that our biggest strength can also be our biggest weakness. For me, it’s racing. Yes, I enjoy a good road race. After all, isn’t that what this is all about lately. But it’s more than the road race. I realized something, I have been a “racer” all my life.

This idea rang very clear to me when my oldest daughter, Parker, brought home her report card this week. School has been something that for the most part has come pretty easy for her and good grades were just something that always happened. It wasn’t until our first 4th grade marking period that I realized, Houston, we have a problem. My primarily A and a few Bs student was now the same child that brought home two Cs. It seems that my very bright child came across some difficult 4th grade math and instead of asking for help or taking her time to work through it, she decided to race through every assignment and especially every test in order to show everyone just how good she was at this “new math”. Tests were coming home marked with poor grades and comments from the teacher urging her to slow down because she was done much earlier than the rest of the class. I get it, more than I would like to admit it.

Mr. Alexander’s Class in 8th grade was where I was bite by the same bug for speed. I would write out the test answers so fast that my pencils practically shot out sparks. There was no match to the pride I felt running up to the desk to be the first one there. I walked away a little taller and my smile was a little bigger.

Fast forward to present day and I am still racing….racing to get to a deadline I’ve known about for 2 weeks, racing my kids to their activities, racing to get dinner on the table, racing to get a shower before the baby wakes up, racing to get kids out of bed only to race them back into bed at the end of the day. Race, race, race. Today the race is to get my house clean before my parents arrive for Thanksgiving. I am wiping down surfaces that haven’t seen a rag and cleaner in months (or dare I say years). The only thing that’s stopping me from painting my baseboards so they look cleaner is the fact that they should be pulling in within the hour. I am under some strange idea that if my house is spotless then they will realize I’ve made it, I’ve turned out well, what a good mom I am, blah, blah, blah. This is by no pressure or stress that they have placed on me; this is just another mutation of my need to race. To be good. To get it all right. But for who?

It is very rare for me to participate in something that I don’t think I’ll do well in because accompanied with that need to “race” is also the need to be the best and avoid failure…especially public failure.

I am going to combat those feelings and step out and do quite the opposite. Every year in our area they do a 4 mile Thanksgiving Day run called Race for the Pies. It is something I have always wanted to participate in; however, we are normally in Tampa with my family for Thanksgiving. This year though, we are home. My chance to finally run the race is here …but wait…remember that detail about public failure. I sit, I ponder, I chew my nails, and my stomach churns.

I had to change the record in my head. I switched my record out for the one I played for my daughter when we looked over her report card together. Do you want to look like the best or do you want to do your best and BE your best you? We cannot and will not be the first or the best at everything. What we can do is give it our all.

It seems appropriate that this would be my first race because the first 900 people that cross the finish line are given a pie. That’s right, a pie and I’m pretty sure the only 2 ways I will be able to finish that 4 miles tomorrow is if someone is chasing me with a knife or there is a pie waiting for me at the finish line! Perhaps I should pass the motivation for the pie and just be motivated by the idea of crossing the finish line….not because I finished first and was the best, but rather just because I finished.






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