Yesterday I had an 8 mile run scheduled.
As anyone with school aged kids will tell you, the start of the school season is ruff. First there is the adjusting to the schedule to knowing who needs to be where when and everything in between. On top of all of that craziness, I in my infinite wisdom a few years ago took on the responsibility of running my son’s Cub Scout Pack in addition to being his Den Leader. So this brings on a whole host of responsibilities and just like the beginning of the school year, the beginning of the Scouting year is also a bear.
Now normally when the kids are all dropped off at school, I like to start my run by 9:00. Yesterday though I figured that I would first take care of some Cub Scout stuff that needed to be done. I figured that I would be done by 11:00 at the latest. One thing leads to another and another. Before I know it, it is almost noon.
Now I’m hungry.
So knowing I’ve got a run, I quick eat a bowl of cereal. Finally get out for my run a little after 12:45. Do some quick calculations and realize that there is just NO WAY that I am getting in a whole 8 miles due to needing to start the school pick-up cycle.
Then I start to map out in my mind how far and where to run. I figure that I can probably squeeze in 5 miles or close to it.
Then in the midst of my panic, I wonder what the Hell my problem is and what is wrong with me. Running is supposed to be my stress relief. It felt good to get out the door after sitting all morning. Why am I causing myself more anxiety instead of letting the run take it away?
Then I had an epiphany that I’ve had before. Running is NOT my job. I RUN BECAUSE I LIKE TO RUN! Yes, I know that I need to stick to my schedule and train if I want to be able to finish all these races that I’ve signed up for. Yes, I know that training is important, but so is flexibility. My “job” is to do the things that I do at home not only because I “have to” but because I want to. No one assigned me these jobs. I decided that I wanted kids. I decided that I wanted 3 of them. I decided that I wanted to do the things that I do for our house, my kids, and our family. They are my priority.
That is not to say that I should not take time for myself and the things that I want to do. My run at the beach is a prime example of that rationale. That is not to say that everything that is important to me comes second. It just means that I need to be more flexible and cut myself a break. Especially when there is a lot going on. The trick is to know what days, I really need flexibility and what days I need a kick in the pants.