Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ain't No Thing But A Family Thing

A whole lot of races don’t allow strollers because they can get in the way of this and that. They can create safety hazard for runners and of course they are worried about the child themselves. I’ve been trying to decide what to do for the Odessa Marathon and finally an old idea occurred to me. After Kiana’s mother left, I had actually asked the Boston Marathon if I could run it with a stroller and they said no that was against regulations. Either way, it was probably too long ­to ask Kiana to sit in a stroller since it would probably be 3:30-4:00 hours. We’ve done up to six miles in the stroller but it’s getting harder as she gets heavier. I looked at previous times for the Odessa Marathon and the honest truth is that I think I’d have a decent shot of winning either the half or the full outright if I went out there but I’ve won a half so there’s nothing to be gained there and I’m not quite sure that if I ran the full that I’d be there when my mom finished her half. So I emailed the race director and asked if I could run it with a stroller that way I wasn’t sitting around the entire time my mom is walking it (this is where you can reprimand me for not walking it with her but trust me… if you haven’t been training walking as she is, walking that long can hurt). They ran it by their board and Kiana and I are the first to get permission to run with a stroller in the history of this marathon. It won’t be a PR but I’m going to leave as much as I can out there. I have a cheap stroller but I am hoping I can borrow a nice one for that weekend because well, we may have taken second in the stroller division last year’s Thanksgiving run but she’s put on a bit of weight since then (4 years old to 5 years old). I’ve also offered money to get her a finisher’s medal that way all 3 generations get one and no one will be cheering louder for anyone out there than my daughter and I will be for “abuela’s” first half marathon finish.

There are still no job offers. There was a time where I got a couple of contract positions offered that in retrospect seem like it was less than intelligent to turn down. I’ve been trading some emails with Duke and my local team and while I am a big fan of both them, and I’m happy to take some responsibility for this, it appears that my local team and them were not coordinating as much as I thought and I should have been more aware of it and encouraged it. Part of it is entirely my fault… I was nervous about how much money it would take to keep going back to Duke and I think that they thought I wasn’t planning on returning but it makes me clue in to some of the system and something Livestrong and someone from my running group encourages which is to make sure you take charge of your own medical thing. I understand that and again I am happy to take responsibility for it and realize that some of the distractions that came my way messed with me… but while I don’t completely trust my brain, let’s hope it hasn’t gotten to that level. The lumosity scores are rising still but they are still slower than what I think they would have been without the surgery.­­

I want to never complain but I do miss having my brain how it used to be a long time ago. I went on a bat cruise with wonders and worries yesterday but got there too early so I took Kiana on a quick canoe trip. We both had fun and she kept pointing out that I wasn’t wearing a life jacket even though she was. She was paddling and splashing me and I was trying to just keep things going in the right direction. Somehow I hope those last two sentences is the rhythm of our life. Still, at the event, I sat next to a lady who was saying how her husband had been there for the event last year with her two young kids and how this year he was in a hospice and how by this time next year he’d be gone. Kiana listened and perhaps showing the ignorance or innocence of childhood said, “I’m sorry… but my dad’s going to be here.” I wanted to apologize for the second half but the woman hugged her and there was nothing I could think to say, other than to whisper to Kiana to be careful what she said to people after.

It’s going to be time to make some financial decisions soon and that’s called life. And riding rides for Livestrong and running tournaments that raised money for charities and winning trophies has been a way that kept me going but at the end of the day… and they inspired others and having those concrete goals kept me going, well they don’t pay the bills. So soon and very soon unless something spectacular comes up, it’s time to just put things in their right priorities and make sure my daughter has food on her table and a roof over her head. I dared to dream enough about this to where I bought a lottery ticket on the way to the Doctor’s office but even I don’t have that good of luck.
I’ll canoe with my daughter and push her for a half marathon in a stroller. I’ll cheer for my mom as she does hers. And it will be time soon to make some financial decisions but in the end, some things in life, well it ain’t no thing but a family thing. 

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