This past week we dropped my son off at college. It was an exciting, heart wrenching and surreal experience. He was definitely more ready than I was. In addition to the feeling of loss, I also found myself a little jealous of his new opportunities. He is just over five hours from home, knows nobody and has the ability to be whoever he wants. Of course, I hope he stays true to himself blah, blah, blah, but is is also the chance to live outside of the narrative others have created for and about him. This is such a rare opportunity and not granted to everyone. His biggest challenge will be letting go of the script that he has followed for himself, the narrative he may have co-created or allowed to be written for him. Letting go of the voices that hold him back.
I thought about this a lot this morning as I once again tried to reinvent myself as a runner. Over the last two years I have progressively lost more and more of my stamina and my ability to run. Some of this has been because I was getting (and still do get) pretty sick when I run. But there was also the feeling of being lost in it all. As the build up continued to my son leaving, as my daughter began to move ever closer to being a true middle schooler I found myself lost. I wasn’t sure how I fit into their lives anymore and really what my job was. I also found myself lamenting any time that I didn’t spend with them. This included all the time I spent working out. Honestly, they didn’t miss me at all, because that is the nature of growing up.
So who would I be if I had the opportunity to reinvent myself? It is almost a scary thought. One thing I know, I want to feel strong again. Whatever shape or form that takes, I want to feel as though I have stamina for days. I also don’t want to feel sorry for myself. If I am honest, there is a part of me that is thrilled he is there and happy because now I can stop worrying about that and spend more time and energy on things that I like. Baking, football, writing, running, reading and biking. I do feel a certain sense of peace and joy. I love the school he is attending and he seems to be doing great. (Five days in, I know it’s early but all signs are pointing up!)
Running, for some reason, makes me feel strong and accomplished. So as much as I tell myself that I don’t need it anymore and I can let it go and maybe I should as I am over fifty, I just can’t. So I really did start from scratch. Last week I started running for one minute and walking for two. I did this for an hour. And I only did it twice because last week was so busy. That was something I realized over the summer. I was cutting myself a huge break constantly. That attitude led me to be about five pounds off my highest pregnancy weight. Whoops! Oh well. The good thing about that is, the more you weigh the harder your body has to work the more calories you burn. Silver lining! The bad thing is, well I fit into absolutely nothing. So yeah, that’s a problem. Getting dressed is a nightmare and I never feel good about myself. Which is another area I really need to be honest about with myself. How I look is important to me. I don’t want to feel unattractive and at this size I just do. In the interim though, as I work towards better health and a better self image I am going to buy some new clothes that fit. It will make me feel good to dress better and breathing again will be an absolute joy!
Today I ran two minutes and walked two minutes. I thought about my son starting his classes this morning. I thought about my daughter going away with her sixth grade class next week. And I thought about how much I was enjoying the running walking combo. For the first time in a long time I feel inspired. I’m excited to see where it takes me.