Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Limits

I've thought a lot about what my limits and my boundaries have been since I started running. I have gone far beyond what I thought I could ever do and thus blowing those ideas of limits out of the water. In the life of a parent I am very good at shutting those down and forgetting what I am capable of. Mostly I want to protect them, even by being "too safe and cautious" which isn't really helping them at all is it? I became a paranoid mommy. Not where I wanted to be in my parent style at all.

I never thought I would run a 10K much less a half or full marathon, but I did. I had to push those "limits" in myself to train for longer distances, for faster times, for conserving energy now so I could push it later. I had to learn to eat differently so I had energy to do things I never thought myself capable of. I had to retrain my mind with positive thoughts, not my usual process at all.

As a parent I am constantly worried about the boys getting hurt, physically, emotionally, spiritually. I built walls around us to keep us safe, those walls are mostly figurative but sometimes very physical when you see what my kids are allowed (or not allowed) to do compared to some of the other kids in our neighborhood. I don't let them play in the street. I don't allow them to go to someones house where I don't know the parents. I hover when they are online so they don't accidentally log into the wrong site. They have timers set for how long they can watch TV, play video games or have computer time. I force them to play outside with Blondy under constant supervision, and at age almost 9 I let Hollywood play outside with less supervision than before with the understanding that he knows his boundaries, knows he must check in every half hour and does not enter any ones backyard, house or car without coming and talking to me first. If I say no there will be no temper tantrums or talking back. Of course these are only a few of the obvious ways I protect my children but the list could go on all day I don't think you want me to bore you anymore with that. All in all, I built my walls pretty high.

It was so hard to climb those walls, jump over them and run, but thats exactly what I did. I always came back though. I needed to get a little Tina time in, not as a parent or a spouse for a little while. I learned that not only did I build walls around family to protect them but I built walls around myself and became of the world going on around me. So when I started to run I had little confidence in myself, but slowly and steadily I learned that there is a difference in LIMITS and BOUNDARIES. Limits are meant to be challenged and boundaries are what we have to keep us safe. My kids are getting the benefits too. A happy mom who is tearing down walls, setting boundaries broader and limits more as goals to overcome. Those walls around our family are not so high but still working on coming down s-l-o-w-l-y as my kids grow. Those walls around myself will be torn down and rebuilt over and over I think but at least they grow with my goals and are torn down with great friends, great runs, great coaches, great workouts, PR's and everyday wonderful achievements. Becoming a runner as taught me more about being a person, a wife, a friend, but mostly a parent than I could have ever imagined.

5 comments:

Reese said...

Limits are necessary with our children. Knowing where to end them is the trick, and one we have to hope is correct.
To your previous post, I got the runner's high yesterday. And while it's not rare, neither is it common.

Steven Cohen said...

Wow, that was quite reflective and thoughtful. Good for you for tearing down your own boundaries! Keep those kiddies safe, but expand your own world!

Kai said...

*clap clap*

I think running teaches us freedom and possibility. Maybe that's why there are so many accomplished, successful, well-adjusted runners?

TinaGirl said...

or maybe thats why there are so many mccomplished, successful well adjusted people who are runners? Either way we win.

Fitarella said...

love your thoughts, totally resonates with me.