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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Celebrating One Year of Running and a Shark Deficit

Photo by hermanusbackpackers

I am a closet co-sleeper. In fact, I am co-sleeping against my will. So I am less of a closet co-sleeper and more just a prisoner of co-sleeping. A POCS. Hannah Jane will be 3 this Saturday, and the kid has been sleeping in our bed since she was 6 months old.

TWO AND A HALF YEARS OF BEING KICKED EVERY 15 MINUTES.

It started out of desperation. We needed sleep. Sleep deprivation was ruining our marriage and, frankly, robbing us of the joys of parenting. So we started letting her sleep in our bed.

She just never left.

Hannah is finally at the age where you can BEGIN to reason with her. So I am trying with all my might to reason, beg, and bribe this leech out of my bed. Unfortunately, with the ability to reason, also comes the ability to exaggerate, lie, and have irrational fears. This led to the following conversation taking place a couple of nights ago:

Me: "Why won't you sleep in your own room?"
HJ:  "There's sharks in there."
Me: "There are no sharks in there. If you sleep in there 3 nights in a row, Mommy will take you to the toy store and buy you anything you want."
HJ:  "Anything?"
Me: "Anything you want."
HJ: "...I want a shark."

Don't be fooled. This is not the false logic of a toddler. This is the thinking of an evil genius.

If she gets a shark....

she can put it in her room....

and then....

there really will be a shark in her room...

and then she can sleep with mommy and daddy.....

FOREVER.

This is how entire civilizations are conquered. It's also how I got fat.  I am the queen of buying myself sharks. We like to think that our excuses are anything but excuses. We want them to be valid reasons.

They're not.

Excuses are just sharks of our own creation that we use to terrify ourselves into not exploring the depths of our potential.

Today is my first Runniversary. One year of running. When I began this journey a year ago, I couldn't even walk for 30 minutes. Now, I can run 10 miles. I've lost 61 pounds, my blood pressure is low, my resting heart rate is in the 40s, and I feel great. I can keep up with my two crazy kids, I've made amazing new friends, and I can say with conviction that fitness is now my lifestyle, not something I see other people doing and wish I could do. What is the best thing about getting addicted to running?

Running has drained my shark tank.

It's very hard for me to cling to excuses anymore. You can't have experienced the evolution of running, and then tell yourself with a straight face that you aren't capable of something. That doesn't mean that you are unrealistic. Just as I know I can't go out and run a marathon tomorrow, I also know that I can't quit my job and start writing full time tomorrow.  It just means that if writing full time is what I want to do, I know that with time and patience and hard work, I can do it. 

Or learn a new language.
Or become a black belt.
Or demand love and respect from people in my life.
Or defriend people who are toxic.

When you've felt your muscles groaning, sweat pouring down your face, your lungs expanding to their hilt, your heart pumping as hard as it can, the thrill of a PR, and that moment when you can stop running, because you've just crossed the finish line and friends are cheering you on, you become your own super hero. A super hero that wrestles sharks.

350 Miles.
80 Hours.
Over 100 runs.

1 Year of Running.

Can't wait for the next 1,000 miles.

Let's do this.

In celebration of my Runniversary, I will be heading out to the weekly run at West Sixth Brewing Company tonight at 6pm. What better way to celebrate a year worth of running, than with 3 miles and a free pretzel? And of course beer. If you are one of the many people who have encouraged me, cheered for me, and talked badly to me when I needed it this year, please come up, and say hi, so I can thank you.  And so you can sign my Runniversary shirt! :)

4 comments :

DC Dane said...

Every morning when Dexter, my 2 & 1/2 year old, wakes up calling out "I want Mommy bed! I want Mommy bed!" I remind him that it its Daddy's bed too, but that doesn't seem to sink in. Your story makes me glad I listened to my wife and didn't give in to his desperate pleas to sleep in our bed when he was younger...

Pete said...

Congratulations on learning to use a spear gun, Ann. I found your blog via Popehat comments, and I've been enjoying your writing. Keep up the great work

DC Dane said...

My son, Dexter, who is 2 1/2, actually has a stuffed shark he sleeps with at night. I won it for him a Dollywood.
My wife, Danielle, and I, had Dexter sleep in bed with us until he was about six or seven months old, when we moved him into his own room. After that, there were many nights, stretching on until the present, when he was asked/pleaded/demanded/screamed to spend the night in our room. It has always been difficult for me to say no, or to let him cry it out (I’m the soft parent), but I’m really glad that I listened to my wife and did. I would hate to be in your position now – kids’ kicks are sharp and their elbows are pointy, and somehow they frequently manage to land themselves in crotches and other sensitive areas. When Dexter wakes up in the morning (assuming he wakes before us), he now starts yelling “I want mommy bed! I want mommy bed!” (I’ve explained to him several times that it is Daddy’s bed too, but that doesn’t seem to be sinking in…) until I go get him and bring him into our room (if Danielle goes to get him, he gets mad and says “I want daddy do it!”). That actually works out well for us, because we get to cuddle with him, usually get another hour (or so) to sleep while he chills out in bed with us, and we get to sleep through the night without constant incursions into our soft parts by flailing baby.

Danielle recommends that you try giving Hannah Jane some Zarbee’s (http://www.zarbees.com/), an all-natural (whatever that means these days…) children’s medication that contains melatonin. It certainly knocks Dexter out. Another option is Benadryl, which my parents used on me and which we gave Dexter’s sister, Sienna (now 10) when she was younger.

Good luck!

Ollie said...

see, when I grew up I would have wished for sharks in my room.... but what do you expect from a kid who grew up to study marine science in college? xD another gem, I love reading about your runs!