Monday, March 1, 2010

The Race of Motherhood

This weekend was a first for me. I had my first girls only (no husband, no kids) weekend since being a mom. My friend, Claudia, and I went to Chattanooga, Tennessee to compete in a half marathon together. I've gladly referred to Claudia as one of my closest friends for almost a decade. My friendship with Claudia began when we were both still considered newlyweds. Our connection deepened when we experienced pregnancies and motherhood in tandem. My relationship with Claudia transcends potty training tips and discipline techniques, we both are avid, zealous, fervent, devoted runners.

Claudia zeal for running led her to make a personal goal to run a mini marathon in every state. She asked me to accompany her in a race. It took me about two second to say yes about 53 times. Fortunately, Chris and my parents were supportive and agreed to work as a team to oversee the boys and man the house for the weekend we were away.

On Friday, we made the journey down to Tennessee. Saturday morning we participated in the Scenic City Half Marathon. The course provided some spectacular scenery but definitely included a lot of inclines. (My mom was correct in stating scenic does not mean flat!) The cold weather and windy conditions added some additional hurdles, but running with Claudia made the race more successful and enjoyable. She cheered us onward as we crossed each mile marker. She encouraged me when I started to get tired and offered suggestions on ways to revamp my strides. She reminded me to focus on the runners ahead of us and work on continuing to advance forward. Even when I got really tired and told her to run ahead, she informed me we were running together and we'd finish together.

After the race, I thought about how similar my experiences have been with Claudia in our shared journey of motherhood. She has encouraged me when I hit each new parenting milestone. She's there to listen when the challenges of motherhood slow my stride and make me question my ability to move forward. She then provides advice that makes the trek seem a little less treacherous. She reminds me to keep my focus ahead as I'm maneuvering through difficult parenting passages. Finally, she assures me that we are running the race of motherhood together. We'll stick together throughout the race because this race is best completed as a team.

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