So a lot of people have asked me, “How do you train for a triathalon with 7 kids? When do you have time?”
Well, I don’t really have the time. But I found a way to make it.
A few years ago, I decided that every year, I was going to try at least one thing I had never done before.
In 2008 I ran in a series of road races that summer. I had never done anything like it, but every Saturday, I went to the races held by the Westport Road Runners Club. The first one was 2 miles, and the last one was 10 miles. I loved it.
In 2009 I took a class and got my real estate license. It had been years since I had taken any kind of course, and I was really scared that I had been away from a classroom for so long that I wouldn’t pass. I was 6 months pregnant when I took it, and I got the highest grade in the class.
In 2010 I was pregnant, again, and I tried my hand a being a realtor. I didn’t really love it, and I don’t think I’m really suited for that. So I still have my license, but I never became Realtor of the Year.
In 2011 I was pregnant, again, and had Number 7 in October. I sort of took that year off.
In 2012, I made up for 2011. I ran a half marathon. I started a blog. I did my first sprint triathalon, and I did my first Olympic distance triathalon.
I think it’s so easy to lose any sense of yourself once you have kids. And the guilt a mother can feel for taking time for herself can be ridiculous. But I think you have to take that time. You have to make that time. Otherwise, you become a serious bitch. And by always putting your children and family first, and yourself last, they actually end up, in some way, suffering, rather than benefitting.
So the first thing I did was tell everyone what I was doing. I put on facebook that I was doing this triathalon. Now it was out there. That would help me on those days when I started feeling like I should just bag it.
And maybe you say you want to do a triathalon, but you don’t have a bike. Well, I didn’t have one either. There was no way I could afford a brand-new one, but I had found one on Craigslist for $450. I still didn’t have the money to even buy that. So this summer, about 6 weeks ago, we had a tag sale. My goal was to make enough money to buy that bike. We made $450.
I put it out there, and it happened.
Then, I just decided to make myself the priority when it came to training. First thing every morning I would work out. No matter what else I had on my list of shit to do, working out came first.
I am fortunate to have my dad, who is retired, around to help. If he couldn’t help, I went to the Y, put the kids in the babysitting room, and worked out there. A couple times while one kid was inside taking a nap, I pushed 2 kids in the jog stroller and ran laps around the back yard.
But, especially in the past 4 weeks, once I got the kids ready for school in the morning, getting ready for that triathalon took precedence over everything else.
Yeah, my house is a shithole right now. And yes, 12 out of the last 14 meals I have given my family were hot dogs or pizza. My dining room table has about 10 loads of laundry waiting to be folded on it. And for the last week, we have been using tissues for toilet paper because I decided to run or bike or swim instead of go to the store.
And you know what? My kids are all great. A little sick of hot dogs, but great.
And they saw their mom do something really challening. And healthy. And yes, fun.
Now I have plenty of time to get back to the laundry, and the cleaning, and the cooking.
That is, until I decide on my next new thing…
So what are you going to do?
Run a 5k? Audition for a play? Go back to school? Learn how to knit? Take up karate? Climb a mountain? Learn how to swim? Learn another language? Do a Tough Mudder? Write a book?
The sky’s the limit!
Pick something. Put it out there. Let us know what it is. You’ll be glad you did. And so will your family.
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