Friday, November 09, 2012

Running: A Metaphor for Motherhood

The other week I had a horrible run. It seemed as if each and every step was torturous and tedious, especially near the end. On runs like that, I just want to throw in the towel, go home, crawl back in bed, and never run again. I'm not sure why I sometimes have runs like that, because most of the time I really enjoy running. Awhile back, I was running on some pretty old shoes. Well, they were only a year old, but as far as how many miles I'd ran in them, they definitely needed to be retired. The biggest problem with running in shoes that are worn out is that they no longer provide the support that your foot needs, especially on long runs. Consequently, I came home from most all of my runs feeling sore and achy. Throughout the day, my shins would sting from pain and it made running that much harder. I dreaded my runs because I knew that I was going to be in pain the rest of the day. Finally, I broke down and bought new shoes (it is SO hard for me to spend so much money on shoes, especially when they are for me). It was worth every single penny spent (which was A LOT of pennies by the way). It made running enjoyable again and as I ran my half-marathon (that I had been dreading), I run with ease and enjoyed every single moment of it. I even ran faster than I'd ever ran in a race as I averaged just a little over 8:30 minute/miles for all 13 miles. It felt great. I sprinted at the end and felt like I could've kept going (maybe even another 13). But, the last half-marathon I did in February DID NOT feel like that. It was so difficult and it took every ounce of will power within me to keep running. If you talk to any runner, they will tell you that on some runs you just hit a brick wall, a point where you feel like you are going to die if you take one more step. But, on the other hand, they will also tell you about the runner's high. I don't always experience this, but frequently I do. I usually always get it between miles 4-5 and then again around miles 9-10. I LOVE it when I feel a runner's high. Whenever I get one, I always get chills that run all up and down my arms and I feel amazing inside. I get really excited, filled with energy, and determined to accomplish anything and everything. If only I could bottle that feeling and pull it out on the runs that feel like utter and complete torture.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Motherhood is SO very similar in my opinion. Some days are just horrible. For example, the other day I had one of those days. It was filled with temper tantrums from all four of my children, lots of time outs, screaming and yelling (mostly from me), anger and frustration (again, mostly me), eggs broken on the patio outside because Hailey just wanted to see what would happen, spilled sticky cranberry juice (that is very expensive by the way, but I bought it to help with Katelund's UTI she has AGAIN), peanut butter all over the floor and all over Makayla's clothes, hair, and face (Hailey said Makayla was hungry so she climbed into the cupboard, got it down, and opened it up for her), forgotten homework that Katelund and I spent FOREVER on the day before, Cloey telling me that I was the meanest mother ever (which was probably true that day), a missed visiting teach appointment, a new recipe for dinner that was a disaster, and a husband who borrowed a friend's X box to come home and play the new Halo game all night (REALLY??? Haven't you out grown those stupid games yet?!?!). Yep, it was one of those days where I just wanted to throw in the towel, LEAVE my home, go to a hotel, and sleep until my children had grown up and moved out. But then, there are those other days. Days where life just couldn't get any better. When my children are obedient, sweet, loving, and my house is perfectly clean and organized (oh wait, those days are only in my dreams) :) But really, there are other days that things are just wonderful and even when disaster strikes (because it is pretty much a daily occurance), it's okay and life is still pretty much perfect. I'm so grateful for days like that. Days where I have an incredible teaching moment with my older girls, or days where I accomplish a zillion things and still have time to make a delicious dinner. And of course I can't forget days where my house is a complete mess but life just couldn't get any better because I spent the day playing on the ground or at the park with my babies. Those are the days I live for. The days that remind me that it's all worth it.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The best part of a race is knowing that the finish line is just ahead. That is the part of the race when your adrenaline kicks in and you start sprinting because you know that you have finished and completed the race of your life. In motherhood, the ultimate finish line is not in this lifetime. But, there are glimpses and reminders of the victory ahead each night as I kiss their sweet sleeping faces and remember how much I love being a mother. In my closet, I have gold medals hanging from a hook that remind me of the races I've ran and the races that are still ahead. They remind me of why I love to run and keep me motivated to push through the hard times as I remember the highs and joys that will surely come. In motherhood, the rewards are usually not seen with the eyes, but instead, felt with the heart. These rewards are the ones that give purpose and meaning to my life. They are the ones that push me to become better and remind me that there is nothing of more importance. The lows and highs of motherhood shape us into the women we are destined to be. They give us opportunities to stretch, grow, and sacrifice. They teach us how to love completely and unconditionally. Motherhood truly is a divine and noble work. One that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world.


All Fun Family said...

You're such a great example to me of what it means to be a great mother. You're are so good at teaching the gospel to your girls and handling the craziness of 4 kids. I have a hard enough time with two!

In fact, I have three women to look up to who are amazing mothers. You, Andrea, and Mom. I probably drive you all crazy with all of my mothering questions, but I really admire you all and am so grateful for you.

Nichole Christensen said...

I stumbled upon this post while searching for mother metaphors for a class. This post is beautiful and I really needed it this morning. I am LDS as well! I haven't read through your blog, so I don't know where you're from or much about you... but I just wanted to thank you for this particular post! :) After the morning I had with my 5 year old, I really needed to hear it!

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