the simple minded suburbanite

The Race
August 31, 2011, 4:25 pm
Filed under: achievement, authenticity, parenting, suburban | Tags:

I don’t know about you, but I often find myself out of breath mostly figuratively, but sometimes literally.  One such literal time was last January when my friend and I tried running.  I sucked.  My hips and knees throbbed with pain I had never felt before.  I was discouraged and de-motivated.  I’d never run a race.  I’d never cross the finish line.  What the f—??  I realized, through talking to other running friends that where potential solutions:  I could try a different pair of shoes, run on a different surface, or see a trainer.  Part of me was like, Really?  That sounds like alot of crap just to go out and run.  The other part of me was like, I’m gonna do it!  My body isn’t going to tell me that I can’t run!!

Well, I haven’t gone back to it and I find myself saying three things to myself since January:

1.) I’m a “the other word for kitty cat”.

1.) It’s not my time to focus on running.

2.) or, running isn’t very important to me or I would’ve found a way to do it.

Or maybe it’s not the running, maybe it’s the racing.  I’m just as happy on a walk.  When running, I focused on deep inhalation and long exhalation.  I focused on true heel strikes and lengthy strides and form.  Never once did a look over at my friend and question whether or not I had lapped her or she had lapped me (okay, maybe I did once.  Okay, twice).  But, overall running, just like yoga, or writing, or my life is mostly about my own experience.

Yes, in my life, I occasionally look over my shoulder to see if my neighbors, friends, or colleagues are lapping me.  I’m an American Girl, after all, and most certainly of the human condition.  But overall, I try to pace my own self on my own run, my own life.

This is why the movie Race to Nowhere has caught my eye.   It is about, quite simply, the stress kids are under to perform and achieve in school, and the high cost of that pressure.  Though I am nowhere near Tiger Mom proportions, I admit that when it comes to school, my kids are expected to do what it takes.  My middle and my little are still in elementary school, so not much of a big deal there, but with the older one…Yikes!  3 Accelerated classes, which he (which really means “we”) fought tooth and nail for every grade point last year.  He is, shall we say, “organizationally challenged.”  And it was many times last year, his first year at middle school, that I questioned if we were pushing too hard or not hard enough.

I’m taking my two older kids with me to the screening of the movie this fall.  I hope only to impart to my kids through this and many other actions that it is their form, their stride, and their breath that are most important to me not, by any means, the race. I do hope they find what makes them run but, they can travel another path, find their own inspirtation which leads to motivation and they don’t have to sacrifice their body, spirit, and balance to be the first to cross a finish line that only keeps moving, moving, moving beyond where your feet have you at this precious moment in their unique life.


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