Runner’s Guilt

fullsizeoutput_1ffaThere is something inherently selfish about running.

It really serves no purpose to mankind.  At least not overtly.

I still haven’t gotten back into the running groove like I had intended.  There are reasons, so, so many reasons.  It’s cold.  It gets dark early.  I’m tired.  I keep blaming my deceased mother.  She lived with us for the past 3 years, passing abruptly in July.  Being her only child, she really doted on our children, her only grandchildren.  Anytime I wanted to go for a run, I could.  She encouraged it.  She watched the kids.  I never had to worry.

And then she up and died on me and I can not for the life of me get my bearings.  I’m still feeling lost.

The 40 minute drive to and from work is almost more than I can bear.  I don’t have any time.  I’m always rushing.  Rushing home to take the kids to ball practice, get their dinners ready, their book bags packed for the next day, get the laundry done, keep the dishes from overflowing the sink.  I’m not alone in this, my husband is right there with me struggling, too.

Today I had my running bag packed, the headphones and Garmin watch all charged up.  I had a half day in the clinic.  I’d change into my running shoes and dorky compression socks after work and go for a quick run before I had to pick the kids up from school at 2:45.  I was almost to work when I got the call, your son is puking.  You gotta come pick him up now.

Before, I would have called my mom, can you please pick him up?  Sure, honey, no problem.  Don’t worry.  I would have finished my clinic and had my run before coming home.

Of course, all of this is incredibly selfish.  And incredibly hard.  My work has certain expectations.  The patients, the corporation.  I should be available, dependable.  I had to cancel my clinic today, letting people down, diminishing my productivity.  It makes me feel a little guilty.  My son needed me.  I can’t let him down.  He’s just a boy and he’s sick, would anyone other than one’s own momma suffice in that moment?  I want to be there for him.  I haven’t been running, my little belly is pudging out and I just feel a little icky in my own skin.  I’m letting myself down, too.

Everything that we do requires putting something else on the back burner.  My children.  My work.  My duty to provide clean underwear for my family.  In order to run, something else has to give.  And right now, I’m not sure it’s worth it.  I don’t want to sacrifice anyone for my own well-being.

In the end, running may not serve any purpose for mankind.  But for this woman to remain kind, I know I’ve got to find the time for myself.  I need to figure out a way to get back to what gives me a sense of peace.  I really need to go for a run.

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18 Responses to Runner’s Guilt

  1. 2ndhalfolife says:

    Not a lecture, but some thoughts from an ex-runner but still an avid dopamine addict: it does help humankind because staying in shape keeps healthcare costs down, keeps ERs unclogged because runners are healthier, therefore the really sick people can use these facilities–more folks should walk/run. OK: how to fit in a run: get a treadmill (yes I know, they suck, but at least you can still do it until something else works out); get up really early so you can do it before you go to work (your hubby is still home, you are less tired and will feel great going into work); join a gym where they have daycare (yes, treadmills again, but they also have other great things to do: weights, classes etc); get a ‘baby jogger’ (I don’t know how old your kids are?); trade running sitting with your friends with kids that might want to run too; run while you are at work (this might not be possible, but maybe you can go in early and run while you are there–or stay late?); start a little local running club (people will have kids and you can all share the help. Some ideas–I’ve done them all when I was a crazy runner and had do it. Where there’s a will there’s a way. xo 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your Mom was blessed to have you and you her! I look back at my working Mom days now and can’t imagine how I had the energy – my running seemed to consist of running after them ☺️BUT you do have to sometimes let one of those balls you’re juggling go and sneak in some you time! Think of it as a “service” you are providing to your family and job, (of eh and us “followers”), that ya don’t breakdown like a car! Need sanity and physical maintenance time!👍

    Liked by 1 person

  3. meinmolokai says:

    For my own selfish reasons, I am profoundly grateful you carve out time to write.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Running makes you healthier, which helps you make other people healthier. Running puts you in rhythm with the world. Sometimes it allows you to pit yourself against nature, like when you have to bear down to run into a strong wind, or when you are wet, or your feet are wet and you must find a way to put that aside to focus on completing the run. Other times, running is a celebration that you deserve. You are right to put an ill child ahead of a run, just as your mother was right to make so many runs possible for you before she died. Running enhances life, promotes good health and allows you to find ways to put problems and concerns into perspective. It creates energy and most of the time will make you far more productive. Beyond all that is this important consideration: you deserve to do something you enjoy. Now get out there!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. drugopinions says:

    oh my! I have been having the same runner’s guilt. I was doing so well until last month – Spring break, crisis here and there and every single plan to run just dissolve into non action or replaced with other activities. I planned to wake up this morning to run but too exhausted. It is time for myself I crave so much. I hope to really get back to it. it is for more sanity. I hope you can get back to your running routine soon. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Victo Dolore says:

    I completely understand everything you say here. For lady docs the whole world is a constant ball of guilt.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. dawnkinster says:

    You KNOW that in order to care for others you have to take care of yourself. Can you schedule a run a couple of days a week before work? Schedule it first not last, not after everyone elses needs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now I get to pick on my husband! He runs in the morning and I run in the evening that way someone is home with the kids! Maybe we can switch, but honestly getting up at 430 just doesn’t intrigue me. He’s up even earlier than that every day to get in his 5 miles. I really hate to interfere with his time. Mostly because 430 is God awful 😂

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