Monday, December 17, 2012

Why Running A Marathon Is Faaaaar Easier Than Parenting...

In times of parental hardship AKA when I am almost ripping my hair out and willing the clock to speed up, I sometimes think to myself "c'mon - this can't be breaking me - I've run a marathon for goodness sake".

Except this can be breaking me.
Some days at home with young people can make running a marathon look like a proverbial - and literal - walk in the park.
In fact, some days I would happily grab my sneakers and run 42 kilometres in any direction at any given moment.

Of course, there are (many, many) days when the elation of crossing that finish line (or accomplishing any personal goal) can easily be eclipsed by a smile, a cuddle, a milestone, a little hand in mine, the "I really love you Mum" and all those other magic moments we are so privileged to be party to.

I love, love, love my children (I mean where else would all this guilt come from?) but there are so very many reasons that I believe that parenting is the true test of stamina, endurance and willpower.

Why running a marathon is faaaaar easier than parenting...

You train and prepare for a marathon. A lot.
You would never embark on a marathon without having progressively run longer and longer distances.
Just watching (and judging!) others run a marathon would not seem like sufficient preparation.
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If you are injured, you would simply withdraw from the event until you have recovered sufficiently to tackle another one.
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You maintain adequate nutrition and hydration during a marathon - and are encouraged to do so.
You are even provided with the means to do this easily along the way.
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You are cheered along by strangers and friends almost every step of the way.
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Non marathon runners are in awe of your feat.
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It's ok to say that running a marathon is hard work.
In fact, most people will agree with you.
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People don't regularly remind you to enjoy running that marathon because it will go so quickly.
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You don't have to feel an ounce of guilt for having moments of "why am I doing this again?"
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People don't constantly ask you mid-marathon when you plan on running your next one.
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You can listen to (your own) music, ignore everyone around you or completely zone out while running a marathon.
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Models and celebrities aren't making marathon running look glamorous and easy everywhere you turn.
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The course is dictated to you and you are even directed along the way.
It would be near impossible to go the wrong way or second guess the direction you have chosen to take.
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After running a marathon, it is perfectly acceptable to complain of pain, rest your legs or request a glass of champagne be brought to you.
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The only person you could disappoint or fail is yourself.
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Marathon running could be considered a perfectly feasible, full time occupation.
One that might even render you worthy of interesting conversation in a social setting.
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If you are unhappy with your run, you can always put it behind you and plan to improve next time. No harm done. No DOCS.
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The only bodily functions you have to monitor (or clean) are your own.
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After a marathon physically, mentally and emotionally exhausts you - you're not expected to wake up and do it all over again the next day - with a smile on your face.
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You actually do get a medal.

Shar :-)

4 comments:

Robs Con said...

I love this post - parenting is the toughest job of all and we get no training or appreciation and certainly no medal! I haven't yet done a marathon but seeing as I have a 10 yr old and a 7 yr old I have probably put in sufficient training - lol!

Kate @ Our Little Sins said...

Hahaha, yes! I haven't, and probably never will run a marathon but wow, when you put it like that it has to be a walk in the park compared to this parenting gig!!

Lou said...

Hehe - you are so wise Shar...

You're actually making the marathon things sound pretty darn appealing, which is crazy talk!

Parenting...ahhh....sigh...

Lisa said...

I love this! A clever way of putting it. Both running a marathon and becoming a parent sound a lot like hard work to me - my commendations to you!