I have some friends in my neighborhood that just completed a Sprint Triathlon. They worked super hard for it and on the big day, they asked me to photograph it. When they were finished, they said they would never, ever do it again. That it was awful.
Well, they lied. They are doing another one in July and have convinced Eric and I to do it with them. I get butterflies in my stomach just thinking of the big day. My hands start sweating and I feel out of breath for a second.
I am not so much concerned for the swimming or the bike. I can swim forever and ever. It's my favorite thing to do and I try to do it at least three or four times a week. I know I can do the bike, it won't be easy, but I know I can do it. I can handle a spin class with the only issue being a sore booty. As long as I train well for the bike, I will be fine.
It's the run. I can't run. I HATE to run. HATE it more than life itself. I try to love it. I went through a little spurt a few months back where I was running with the goal to get better and start to love it. I ended up quitting because I just hate it so much. I can't do it. I can run a mile, but I am DYING at the end of that mile.
So, I know I really need to focus on that part of my training. I think I'm going to join some Tri training message boards and get some advice on how to train for the run.
Anyone in other states want to train with me and do a Tri in their area? Anyone?
Do you see this amazing boy?
I am not going to go into specifics in regards to the issues Jagger is dealing with in terms of his schooling. It's kindergarten and we are blown away at the expectations compared to when we were children. I will mention his greatest struggle right now though.
What I will first comment on is this...He has floored his teacher when it comes to mathematical ability. Her words actually were "I was shocked and completely blow away at the intellect."
That grounds us when our minds start going off in all different "what if" directions.
He is struggling deeply in another area. An area that could hold him back. We won't let that happen. I don't care if we have to hire tutors and home school next year.
Our goal? That Jagger enjoys school and learning. No more, no less.
Jagger had a report due this week on hermit crabs. In the beginning of the gathering of the research, it was a bad situation. The last straw was my boy hiding under the desk screaming,
"my brain is dumb and I can't do the letters."
"I am stupid."
"My brain hurts me with letters."
That killed me. I can't even explain the pain I felt inside when he was screaming.
So I said "screw it" and we made up his report with pictures along with the words.
We told his teacher what we were doing and she encouraged us and told us that was the way to go with Jagger.
Here is a e-mail I got from her today after Jagger presented his report....
"Just wanted you to know what an awesome job your son did on his project. The class loved the pictures. He read all of it by himself with minimal help from me. He didn't seem to be nervous at all. Way to go Herring family!"
I don't know if I can adequately express the happiness I felt reading that. When I read it to Jagger, it seemed his chest puffed out a few inches more than normal.
I am thankful for a teacher that allowed me to tweak a project that would suit my fighters needs and not expect him to fit into a mold.
I know this will not always be the case, but while we are here, we will embrace it.
Recently, I made a promise to myself. This promise I made a few weeks back was that I was going to be better in the my 30's than I ever was in my 20's. That means in every area. I promise to nurture my creativity, my spirit, and my body. I promise to be healthier and stronger than I have ever been in my life. I promise to fully take care of me.
I always thought that was selfish. Putting myself first that way. Mom's are not supposed to do that right? We put our kids and spouse first because that is what makes a good wife and mother. We put the things we need to do in order to keep our mind and soul healthy last because everyone else comes first. That's what we are taught.
Is everyone taught that? I don't know. I know I was. I know so many of my mom friends were taught that.
Turns out that's not so healthy to do. Turns out that leads to some resentful feelings. Turns out that can lead to feeling invisible. Not right away of course. It took a little over seven years for me.
I had to figure out what I needed and what I wanted and if those needs and wants were valid. Just because I want to do something, doesn't mean that I get to do it. Once I figured that out, I had to decide how to balance those needs and wants with making sure my family doesn't suffer and also knows that they are still number one.I had to figure out how to put all of us first.
My needs were:
1. Making sure I am eating healthy everyday.
2. Making sure I am really getting a good work-out at least 5 days a week.
3. Requiring my family to step up and make sure they are contributing to the running of this household. I don't buy the argument that "the man works outside of the home all day so when he comes home he doesn't have to lift a finger." Why does his day end at 5:00 and mine does not? Because I have a vagina? Because I carried our children that means I am on 24-hours a day? I will carrying the bulk of the load because I stay home, but my husband and 6-year-old can do a load of laundry here and there, or empty the dishwasher, or make sure they are picking up after themselves, etc.
4. Making sure that Eric and I work hard to nurture our relationship. That means finding a baby sitter. In the almost 18-months since Hazel has been born, we have been out alone together maybe five times. That's not acceptable to me.
That is it. Those are my needs. Not too much to ask for right?
I have one want:
1. I wanted one weekend night to go out with friends. My friends and I in the neighborhood agreed to start a book club. We meet Friday nights. So, Friday is my night.
I didn't sit Eric down and spell all this out like I should have. Honestly, having him and Jagger step-up and do more in the house came about because my frustration level was at such a high that someone leaving a napkin or a sock on the floor was causing me to become unhinged. Why? Probably because that damn napkin or sock was more than just a napkin or sock. It was one.more.thing that someone walked over because they assumed I would pick it up and put it away along with the other gazillion things that get walk over each day. A few things here and there? No big deal. The majority of the time though? That stuff adds up. One night I packed all the things that were left out in garbage bags and left them for Jagger and Eric to see when they came home from a softball game. I won't tell you how many bags I filled, but I will say it was more than two. That is a lot of work to expect one person to do on top of all the rest of the house chores, grocery shopping, taking care of a toddler all day, making sure my own needs are met, and also trying to maintain the energy to want to have a healthy sex life. I'm just sayin'. It's was just too much and I snapped. Snapped I tell you!
Out of that snap two things were brought about. The first is Eric realizing the pattern him and Jagger were in and working to change it. (Eric has really stepped up and while, as a family, we aren't completely there yet, we are light years away from where we were). The second was realizing I needed a physical release everyday and my commitment to really exercising, not just 20 minutes on the treadmill or elliptical, was born. The exercise burns away my frustrations and I feel so much more centered inside. I don't feel like I am about to rage at any moment. I feel a drastic difference in my head and in my heart. Hour long boot camps three days a week coupled with an hour or more of swimming laps 5-6 days a week has done wonders for my body and my spirit.
I am still high strung. I am still working on my patience. I am still really working on not snapping right away when I am under pressure. I am on the road to getting there though. Some days I am closer than other, but at least I am on my way. My 30's are going to kick ass because I am choosing to not let them be anything less than amazing.
I picked Jagger up from school the other day and we were driving to get him a haircut.
Jagger: "Mom, when Grandma and Grandpa come for a visit, I don't want to see them."
Me: "Ok" (knowing that's a bunch of crap and that something must be bothering him)
About 30 seconds passes
Jagger: "It's just that I'm growing up and I have a lot of things going on."
It ended up that two of his friends at school were not very nice to him that day and he was upset. We worked through it and now he is happy to see Grandma and Grandpa when they come for their visit.