Thursday, November 14, 2013

What Matters Most

Running, training and racing is a very selfish endeavor. I've always known it. You don’t cross that finish line for anyone but yourself. Yes, our community of runners and athletes is awesome but they aren't the ones who sacrifice their time for YOUR personal success. For 7 years, I've been asking my wife and kids to spend many of their weekends alone while I gallivant through the wilderness (e.g., not do laundry, not fix things around the house or not clean up the garage). It’s time to change that.

Some of you may have noticed that I am not spamming Facebook with all my latest runs or updating my blog with mileage or product reviews. To say that things have slowed down would be putting it mildly. Both my metabolism and mid-section are starting to show just how little running I've been doing lately.  Some folks have already started to take notice.

“Are you sick?” (No.)
“Did you injure yourself?” (No.)
“Are you tapering for another race?” (Only if tapering means drinking a lot of beer.)
Carvor - my dude.
Hadley - braces off!
2014 could be another year of epic sh*t. I could enter the lottery for Western States or Hardrock. I have enough points to register for UTMB. But I’m not.

I won’t be signing up for any major races this year.

These races will always be there. My kids will never be 10 and 7 again.

Today, I’m still cool enough to take them to the mall or get ice cream. They want to spend time with me. (I usually have to buy them something but hell, what dad isn't happy to reward his kids for doing great in school?) I wouldn't say I've been a poor father, but I wouldn't say that being a dad (and husband) has been my #1 priority…and hearing myself admit that makes me a little sad. I want my kids to know they mean more to me than a buckle or another race bib.

A Maui dinner with my wonderful wife...
Is this all a personal revelation? No. When you get to spend 7 kid-free-days with your wife in Maui, you actually get to talk in full sentences about things that don’t involve bugs, poop or Lego. When you have an honest conversation about the future you want to have for your family and your children, your part in that equation becomes pretty obvious. My kids deserve an awesome future – solid morals, a strong work ethic and the confidence to make their own decisions (and mistakes). I want that life for them, even if they don’t know it yet.

This is not about choosing to be a runner or a father. I will always be a runner. It’s part of who I am. But I love my kids and wife more. And right now, spending time with them means more to me than any trail or buckle.

They are who I am.
And I'm going to make sure they know it...

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