Personal Best

Personal Best

In high school I could run a sub six minute mile. In college, I ran two Boston qualifying marathons.* I have a box in my basement full of ribbons, medals, and trophies, but as proud as I am of those accomplishments, the miles I’m proudest of these days are much slower. They’re long lasting miles fueled by patience and full of silliness, lack of focus, and creative endeavors at motivation. They’re the miles I do with my children. These miles require calculated self-control to keep my temper in check when Ellen stops to inspect the millionth rock and an endless resilience against discouragement as senior citizens with trekking poles pass us. In some ways, running fast was easier; holding back can be so much harder than giving it all you’ve got. These miles aren’t always as instantly gratifying. There aren’t any finishing medals or prize drawings at the end. But in the midst of the trudge Cooper will announce “I like hiking!” or Ellen will engage in the most ridiculously hilarious conversation about chipmunks and I’ll get a little taste of parenting flow. When we arrive at our destination and realize that our kids are the youngest to get there on their own two feet I can’t help but puff up with pride. These aren’t even close to being my fastest personal records, but they may be some of my most important ones.

*For the record, current me is slightly flabbergasted by and jealous of those PRs.

3 thoughts on “Personal Best

  1. I really like this! It’s something I think about often as well! I don’t even keep time while pushing the jogging stroller anymore….it makes me a bit sad and a little crazy 🙂

  2. 1) I never track time anymore…just the distance on runs and nothing for kid walks. I get there when I get there.

    2) I am also glad to see that I’m not the only “crazy” person who likes to hike in their Chacos.

    3) And, finally, I agree that picture would be great for Christmas cards…but you should keep in mind that 2 of the 3 times I’ve done photo Christmas cards, I used a summer-rolling-in-the-grass photo and an everyone-smile-with-all-three-eyes Halloween photo. 😉 🙂

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