RespectÂ gives a positive feeling of esteemÂ or deferenceÂ for a personÂ or other entity(such as a nation or a religion), and also specific actions and conductÂ representative of that esteem. (Wikipedia def).
Conduct representative of that esteem. Â Hmmm. So making judgement, perhaps? Â Specifically, the judgement of others and of your own self. Â Let’s start with the first- judging others. Â Have you ever been in line at the grocery store only to catch a glimpse of the toddler in the aisle next to you screaming, “I want this mommyyyyy.” Â The flustered mother then gives the aforementioned child the prize. Â You immediately and without reservations think, “Weak.”
About 2 years, and 4 months ago, me and my large belly and even more sizeable notions of parenthood would absolutely have fallen into the trap. Â What did I know about discipline, wild toddler emotions, exhaustion? Â Absolutely nada. Â I was so naive and in love with the ideal situation. Â I would sing to my child, decorate her nursery and dream of how lovely life would be. Falling down the slippery slope…not dreaming, but idealizing. Â The greatest thing happened when my world got rocked by a 30 hour labor, pre-pregnancy jeans that didn’t fit for weeks, a 10 mile run 6 weeks after giving birth that hurt more than my first hundred miler, and boobs that inflated and deflated like Lance Armstrong’s ego. Â Then, I got it. Â I fully respected and appreciated the life of a parent. Â All eye rolls came to a halt. Â At least eye rolls of others. Â Then, my judgement took a personal direction. Â I began to doubt myself.
The internal judgement has always been somewhat of a personal trait. Â The A-type kid in school, never knowing thy own limits, a people pleaser at the expense of myself. Â Then, came the bout of “you are not good enough.” Â Where did all my self respect go? Â I watched other mothers around me stay at home, make homemade Halloween costumes and attend school fundraisers. Â I participated in all of those things with my child, but was no stranger to buying tinkerbell wings at Target or having Eva make cupcakes that came out of a box. Â I had guilt for working, for running and again for running. Â My extended family judged me for trying to run, be a wife, mother and professional. Â They would tell me to give it up. My husband did not. Â He supported me, and Eva loved me despite the gluten free boxed treats and actually our little, crazy adventurous life was working pretty well. Â So why the guilt? Â Because our life does not reflect most. Â We don’t fit into a box that comes with a pretty little label. Â I recognized that would be the case from early on. But it still bothered me. Â I found myself making justifications. Why? Who cares? Â Then one day, just this year actually, I had the revelation. Â Your child doesn’t need the perfect parent. Â Just a parent that is good enough.
Eva is loved, supported and is flourishing. Â She’s knows what GU chompies are, and has mud filled shoes from our hikes and adventures and aid station based time-outs, but that is what will make her independent and unique. Â So wait, I’m not a bad parent after all? Â I guess I can say, no. Â I am working on letting my idealist ways go by the way side and chilling out. Â This is a daily battle for me. Â But I am getting there. Â To learn to tune out your own negative thoughts and the judgement of others is so freeing.
What about the runner in me? Â Why I have doubted her for so long? Â In the same vein as a parent with self doubt, comes the self doubt as a runner. Â I have taken my time as an ultrarunner. Â I ran for 5-6 years with absolutely no agenda, no schedule, sometimes no training and just had fun bathing myself in a supportive, lively community. Â Ultimately, in ultrarunning, the lack of judgement and feeling of respect is what drew me in right from the go. So what happened? Â FEAR. Â I realized there was more in me than I had ever given myself credit for. Â I was scared. Â I didn’t think I belonged in the front of the race- I doubted me and I let it put me where I thought I should be. Â I respected other runners but didn’t respect myself. Â I also didn’t respect that I deserved to do well. Â PRESSURE. Â I let the pressure of needing to prove something,mostly to myself, ruin more than one race. Â Its a huge transition to go from casual runner to competitive runner. Â It took time and I respect that process. Â I’ve also said that in prior posts, I must stay flexible with my expectations. Â As one continuum of a linked existence, I must realize many nights are sleepless, training can come and go, and the A type girl in me must let go. Â OVER IT. Â Now, that little devil sitting on my left shoulder gets flipped the bird quite often. Â I tell it to shut the hell up and let the flow of the day, of my legs, of my breath take over. Â You can do well, but only if you allow yourself to. Â You can quite literally derail all of your training if you don’t believe in yourself and respect your ability. Â I am my own worse critic. Â Always have been, always will be. Â But becoming a mom, has allowed me to step back and learn that you only need to be good enough. And to laugh at what life throws at me. Â And that deserves some respect.
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