Running keeps my family sane. That is the life lesson that we have learned in the first two years of our daughter’s life. We have always been an active family. My wife walked to school daily with her fourty pound backpack 2-3 miles each direction. I worked in physical labor on boats, lifting heavy bags full of tools and walking with hydraulic parts down long docks and through tiny passageways. We both run half marathons regularly. There is something with the birth of a child that resets your brain though and you have to learn everything over again.
Raising a child is hard, everyone knows that. However it just doesn’t hit home until you experience it yourself. The sleep deprivation, the crying, the sleep deprivation, the deja vu of crying sleep deprivation. It’s no surprise that a child causes friction and miscommunication in a relationship. Throw in a propensity to get cranky when we have low blood sugar and I don’t know how we have survived this far.
After a winter where we rediscovered our joy of walking through the zoo, and around green lake. We started preparing for the Seattle half marathon. We try to run it every year, but more often manage every other year. (It takes that long sometimes to forget how hard it is.) As we started to run regularly to build up our endurance, we both noticed that our bouts of stupidity or arguing over such important topics as, Was that dog we passed a pitbull or a bull dog? I’m happy to say that we have managed to commit to the daily run with only the occasional rest day when we over due it. The positive to this is that we have drastically improved our communication, the only downside is we have really improved our endurance. Downside? Yes downside. What started out as a 2 mile to feel really good requirement, has slowly morphed into what was a 10 mile total yesterday. This expanding endurance does not have an effect on just my wife and I either. Our toddler has gone from a couple of blocks before we could rely on her needing a ride to. I can run a mile straight with pauses only at the street corners now. I foresee a dark day only a couple years down the road where her endurance surpases ours, and I can only hope I have the grace to accept my child’s ability to compete with, and defeat her papa.
Where is the tie into the childbirth and support on my website? Well, it’s a window into my world, and a story that I believe families can learn from. Contention and exhaustion in the newly expanded family is normal. Think back to the things that have always worked to make you happy and find a way to bring them into your new dynamic. The endorphin rush that accompanies physical activity is real and can be a great argument breaker. Whenever we hit a point of friction, someone goes on a quick run, and by the time the return we can have much more successful communication.