Thursday, 15 May 2014

Flexibility is key

A few months ago, while I was still hugely pregnant with J Bear and worried about how I was going to manage being mom to two kids under two, working a full-time job and chasing a sub-50 minute 10 k, my speedy Namibian cousin gave me this piece of advice: Being flexible is key.  Not fully knowing what I was in for at the time, this self-proclaimed Queen of Routine just took her word for it.  But now, five months down the line, I know that her advice was spot-on: Flexibility is indeed key.

I used to be a die-hard early morning runner: Up before the crack of dawn and getting my endorphin fix before the rest of the neighbourhood even woke up.  After J's birth I quickly realised, though, that labelling oneself as a specific-time-of-day kind of runner is a luxury that new moms can't afford.  New moms run when there's a gap.  Period.  So in the past five months I've been an early morning-, late evening-, lunch time break- and afternoon tea kind of runner.  And it's all been good.  Yip, flexibility is key.


Early morning runs...  Ahhhhh.

I also used to love running trails.  And my knees kind of liked it too - way more than slanting tar.  Thing is, jogging strollers don't do too well on trails - especially not the double kind without suspension.  So now I'm a roadie.  And it's all been good.  Yip, flexibility is definitely key.


Not too stroller friendly.  [Photo by Pure Adventures.]

Do I miss the early mornings?  Sure do.  And the trails?  Definitely.  But you know what?  I love this new chapter in our family's life way, way more: The family runs; the stroller chats with the kids; and being a mama runner.  

So thanks, Cuz, for reminding me that sometimes being flexible, even though it's often hard, opens up a brand new level of enjoyment.  Viva flexibility.   

What is the one thing/trait that enables you to juggle family, work and running?

   

8 comments:

  1. Aah now I get it. THAT kind of flexibility!
    So true, but don't neglect the OTHER kind of flexibility too. Have fun out there!

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    1. Haha, yes, the other kind is very important too :) .

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  2. I doubt that med school is as hard as being a new parent by any stretch, but I do find that I have to be flexible, too. You really do need to run in the gaps!

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    1. I think young children and medical studies probably keeps one equally busy, lol! Hats off to you for using your gaps to run too.

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  3. Ha, I'm such a queen of routine too...I think a lot of runners are. And flexibility? I'm terrible at that in more ways than one lol. But what gets me through is perspective - many times from other people, but I (eventually) get that it's okay if everything doesn't go as planned. It just takes a little while sometimes ;).

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    1. I also find that having perspective is soooo important. Taking a step back and seeing the bigger picture very often helps me too - now if I'll just always remember doing that...! :)

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  4. I always followed the routine but because of the injures I have learned to be flexible. And you are right, being flexible is the key.

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    1. I never even thought about injuries when writing the piece, but am sure that that requires a lot of flexibility (and patience!) too!

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