“When I can be selfless”. That’s what I always told myself about having kids. The time would be “right” when I could be selfless.
That’s because growing up I was one of the lucky ones. I had two very selfless parents. My mom left her job and stayed home with my brother, sister, and I until we were old enough to start school. Between the three of us kids, we participated in soccer, cheerleading, band, cross country, karate, wrestling, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, school plays and even dance. My parents were always on the sidelines or in the audience watching and supporting us.
Growing up we also had season passes to amusement parks, water parks, swimming pools and even to Colonial Williamsburg. We took family vacations each year to places like the beach or Disney World. My dad participated in every father daughter dance & my mom volunteered to chaperone field trips. I could go on and on but the point is my parents were always INVOLVED. They made my brother, sister and I the focus of their lives and put our activities, wants and needs above their own. From field days at school to driving 45 minutes each way to soccer practice our parents constantly gave their money, time and attention to better us. They were and still are selfless.
I however, am the opposite of selfless. I am selfish. My career as a professional runner demands that characteristic. It demands my money, time and attention and I have happily given them to achieve my dreams. My day revolves around MY schedule, when I need to eat, when I need to nap, when I need to workout. My husband understands this need for selfishness. As my coach he even encourages it. When someone in our family schedules a wedding or event that falls smack in the middle of “race season”, we both cringe and think “don’t they realize how crucial this time is!?”. Selfishness is not something I am proud of, but it is just one of the realities that comes along with competing at this level of sport.
So what happens when these two opposite personality traits collide? When you find out that “when I can be selfless” has just been given a due date of March 21st, 2016? This is a question that I have asked myself many times since learning that Darren and I are expecting our first child. I want to be the same type of selfless parent that I was so lucky to have two of while growing up. I also want to continue to pursue my personal athletic endeavors, endeavors that have caused me to have to be selfish with my time over the years.
This conundrum was not one that I was expecting to face this coming year and the answers on how to balance this challenge aren’t something that will come overnight. I know that it will be a learning process. However, if there is one thing that I do know, it’s that there are many paths you can take to reach the same end goal. I’ve learned this in my running career and in my life. God can quickly change the path we are walking on but that doesn’t mean He has abandoned us. He is always walking beside us.
I don’t know what my training will “look” like once our baby arrives. I don’t know what life will be like with a new little one. But I hold faith in the fact that God has continued to provide for Darren & I during this journey. I know we are in the right place, with the right support group surrounding us, to accomplish what otherwise might feel like the impossible. We don’t need to have all the answers yet. We just need to keep trusting and walking the path in front of us.
I cannot express how much I am looking forward to March 21, 2016 and I only hope that I can be half as great as my parents…