Well, as I ran this morning, I thought about more of a running name for the post. Still on par of a bit on a negative side though. I felt sluggish, bored, flat, not excited, not motivated, achy in hamstrings and glutes, tired, annoyed at drizzling rain and poor choice of music on my iPod...you name it, it wasn't even mind over matter, more like will power over mind and body. I had all the excuses, including that it is simply too early to jump into full training week (with some attempt of both hill repeats one day and speed intervals on another) and then go for a long run - all 2 weeks after a 100 miler. Fitness long gone...there was a time it wasn't a problem at all. I made it, I even ran each loop faster than one before, although it felt like I was shuffling dead...
But another thought process bugged my mind on top of running motivation struggle. My son goes to his friend's house almost every week, and he calls this guy's mom a "cool mom". They have a huge house, mom shuttles around neighborhood picking up various friends of her son, takes them out for lunch, then they all go to the park to skate, then she feeds them a million of pizza's and sodas, while they stay at the house playing video games. Cool mom indeed. I don't have a house at all, our apartment would hardly fit 2 of extra friends for a bit - and that would mean we have to go elsewhere to not be in the way, my car would also fit may be 2 of those friends for a pick-up ride, and I am a complete non-believer in fast food. Period. I am not a cool mom.
Nor am I a cool step-mom. I don't take boys to eat out, I send them to movies with Larry once a month, and always struggle when they demand soda for $5 at the theater. I don't buy extreme amount of toys and games and clothes, or snacks, don't have seasonal tickets to any game, and in general, run from 5am to 11am, and then drive to work for a couple of hours on the weekend, as well as go to school.
How do you raise kids these days? I am sure those of us who are older can bring up the memory of being independent, not spoiled, self-contained, and playing outside far more than inside. Generation, technology and so on...are all excuses, and I am aware of some happy families that claim that they out-bid the society. I wonder though. Did they really? What do their kids think when they go to school and hang out with friends who do all those kinds of things, have all those kinds of stuff and don't feel "deprived" by new standards? Even if they (kids) never bring it up to discussion?
Not only it is generation, it is cultural too. These are the values I have grown up with, and now, at 40, I can't simply break them and turn to abundance of crap because that's what happening here. I truly believe in those values. Not only for financial reasons (which are important, with the salary of a lab tech working in academic science hardly above double of a minimum wage), but for the moral reasons (it's not the things or the outside that is true), and for the "save the Universe" (waste generation is something I feel rather strongly against, I turn power off, don't use dryer or a dishwasher, and reuse every bag/paper I can, even at work, so it's not personal savings).
I have my financial vice. I run races. I can make excuse that half of them are local, what means negligible gas spending, free car sleeping, a sandwich for the road, and the entry is free (thank you Team Traverse for inviting me as a consultant!!!). I am also blessed with having some type of sponsorship since my entrance into ultrarunning scene, thus clothes, shoes and often running foods are either free or subsidized. So, yes, I fly to 100M races. And pay the registration fees. I save on everything else for myself - for that. And it is like having a psychologist for my mental state. I bet it is not more expensive and keeps me sane.
So, what's the say around from those who have kids? Do you fight for what you believe in, and how does it feel loosing the fight simply because you are likely in minority? How do you survive in society while still being true to your own core values? And how do you keep a bond with your kids prosper, trying to teach them what they will REALLY meet once they enter adulthood and stop being spoiled by their folks?