I am so thankful for my mom.
This was one of my first thoughts when I finished my 10K last weekend. I actually thought about my mom during a majority of the run. I remembered her training for and attempting to break the 1hr mark for 10K's more than 15 years ago, and struggling to do so. I remember waking up throughout my childhood and walking out to the front of the house just in time to watch my mom "sprint" up the road leading up to the house... she taught me to finish strong. Reality is, my mom is the reason I run.
When I was a kid there was one major non-negotiable in my house that I remember. I had to do a sport. Ok, two non-negotiables, until I was middle-school age I also had to play an instrument, I played the piano for years, and a single year of flute in the 4th grade... but that's another story.
I had to pick a sport, and stick with that sport for a season.. no quitting. I started with gymnastics (which was my fav and I had to quit due to logistics of getting me there) and ballet. When I got to the 6th grade I learned to ski through my school, I also started school team sports (volleyball, basketball), and took up soccer as a summer sport. During the summer I also took swimming lessons until the 8th grade, which wasn't "cool" but it made me a safe, strong swimmer according to my mother.
My freshman year of high school I went out for the soccer team and didn't make it, I was totally bummed, but it was understood that I'd just pick another sport. I did swim team, and I started piano lessons again. I made the soccer team my sophomore year, and I did swim team again, I quit piano. My junior year I only played soccer, it was a light year for me. My senior year I switched it up a bit, I ran cross country to get conditioned for soccer. I finished my high school athletic career playing the final soccer game of the season - "Senior Night" and scored a goal. By this time it wasn't that I was forced to do a sport, it was second nature, normal to always have a season to be looking forward to.
And here is really why I am so thankful for my mom... all the fights, frustration, and tears that were involved in keeping me in sports (and it wasn't always easy, I didn't always want to do a sport) has given me so much in adult life. There are a lot of things about myself that I am not confident in, my looks, parts of my personality, etc. But I am confident in my body's ability to do. I am confident that when I try a new sport, or set a new goal, I can do it. And I know this confidence is because I did sports growing up.
So after my run I called my mom. I told her all of these things, and I thanked her. Her only real question: "What's your 10K time?"
"Wow, Missy. Way to finish strong."
You taught me that, Mom.