And then the truth came out

It was hard to sleep Monday and Tuesday night. I just kept replaying my daughter’s voice in my head over and over. Her words convicted me.

“It was better than I thought,” she muttered, “I’m sure tomorrow will be even easier.”

I had pushed her to work hard, make her accountable for her future plans, and she eventually rose to the challenge. There were no more rolling of the eyes, whining, procrastinating or silent treatments. She never complained again after the initial shock wore off. I realize it has only been a few days, but this is a positive change. She seems almost happy with the decision, actually. Which is probably what is most convicting. I asked her to push her boundaries, push past her fear of working her body to its max potential and yet I have not put in the same effort this year. It’s not enough to say, “I had to work that hard for my goals last year” because I still have goals this year, and she knows it too. She knows that fear keeps me from moving forward often.

This is one of my favorite pictures of DW and The Tortoise just before a 5k run we did as a family a few years ago.

My children make me a better person every day. After months of nothing, I finally got my butt on the treadmill yesterday and ran my first workout of the new year. It was slow, intervals of running 5 minutes and walking 1 minute until I reached 2.5 miles, but it was consistent. I printed out blank calendars for the next three months, marking the races I have already signed up for and the ones I would like to sign up for if possible. The first 5k is in less than 5 weeks, but luckily it is a fun run/walk called a Color Run. This race sells out across the country, so a group of us registered the first week registration opened months ago. Then there is a GOTR 5k less than two weeks after that I have not yet registered for, a 10K the beginning of June and a 5k Mud Run mid-June I am registered. Then of course, somewhere in between is the half-marathon I ran last year, but I have not registered yet. That may be unrealistic, and I would need to find one later in the summer or early fall.

The entire time I was running, I kept thinking about my daughter facing the pool this week. Her brave face and positive attitude that surfaced in the wake of uncertainty inspired me to get moving too. I believe I need to work hard alongside her, encourage not just with words but in actions. It made the workout less painful, knowing that at the end of the day I could share my accomplishment with her over dinner. She could be proud of me, just like I was proud of her.

As we all sat down for dinner, my thighs were already starting to ache. But the impending burn was just a reminder that my body was tired from effort, and I knew that with each run it would get easier. I would get stronger.

“I just want you to know how much you inspired me today,” I said to my daughter, “You have been a real trooper this week and it inspired me to quit wasting time and just get to work.”

She smiled smugly, quietly nodding her head.

“I mean, you haven’t complained a bit. Thank you for that,” I added.

The Tortoise slowly took a sip of water before responding, “Well, I just haven’t complained here. But trust me, I’ve had a few choice things to say to my friends at school.”

I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at her honest remark, even DW chuckled.

“But you can keep feeling inspired,” she added giggling, “then we can be sore together.”

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