Today, I've got some thoughts on parents and running. I rarely think about it but was reminded when I didn't get the one thing I put on my nonexistent Christmas list this year: a running leash for Bailey with a rope that retracts into the collar when you want to let the dog off the leash and don't feel like running with a heavy brick in hand. Now, lest you start thinking horrible thoughts about my parents (because, I KNOW, not receiving a retractable dog leash for Christmas is a tell-tale sign of bad parenting), they are amazing. Really, really amazing. They gave me way too much for Christmas. Just not that damn leash. They don't "get" the whole running thing.
My parents kind of treat running like it's a drug I huff in a corner late at night. Oh, you want examples?
- When I go running with Bailey, they call it "taking Bailey" or "going out with Bailey," but they won't use the dirty R word.
- In the lame family Christmas letter that gets sent out every year, they mentioned my love of hiking but not a word about running, despite the fact that I spend much more of my time on the latter.
- Did I mention the retractable leash?
- Last year when I still lived in Dumb York, I got to come home for Christmas. When I excitedly announced that I was planning to run my very first marathon, I got zero reaction. None whatsoever. I couldn't believe it! Isn't everyone excited about marathons?!
- I'm not sure they've asked me a single question about running in over a year.
I could go on, but I don't want to. I don't know for sure why my parents aren't supportive of my running, but I can guess. My family has a history of arthritis and I very well may be on a one-way trip to two fake hips in twenty or thirty years. I think my parents believe I am needlessly hastening this progression, which is entirely possible. But you know what? I'm not doomed to have arthritis. Odds are I'll get it, but I've got some time (don't shove this in my face thirty years from now when I'm still blogging and can hardly walk). And fake hips have come a long way-my various family members who have them don't experience any pain. If I lived my entire life worried about the possibility of having arthritis twenty or thirty years down the line, I wouldn't do anything. I've got the same philosophy on bears. Jeano's life knowledge: coming to a motivational audiobook near you.
Now, does it really matter that my parents don't understand the whole running thing? No, not really. But it would be nice to be able to come home from a particularly awesome run (oh, you didn't know I live with my parents? Cool kid over here) and tell them about it. Or to talk to them about my training, particularly since I plan to attempt another marathon this spring (more on that some other time). It would be very strange indeed to finish a 20-mile run and then come home and pretend it didn't happen. And on race day? Will I have to drive myself to the race start? Will they come watch me? Who knows. These are the things that occupy my brain for a couple of seconds once in a blue moon.
Because every good post needs a picture, here's Bailey and a few of her billions of new toys. She was so overwhelmed by choice that she spent about a half hour frantically running back and forth touching each toy but not actually picking anything up. A special lady.