This goes out to all the single moms out there. The toughest job on the planet and the masters of getting it done day in and day out. With that being said, my hat is off to all the single mommy athletes. We take go go go go to a whole new level. On days where im stressed, overwhelmed to tears and exhausted beyond measure...I know there is a mom out there stretching it way thinner that I ever could on a strong day.
On many of my training runs on the bridges, I passed a woman and her son always walking or running. We merely exchanged a nod, as she appeared deep in thought or trying to be free of thought. As a woman going through some rough points in my life, I understood that need for space. Her son always ran in front smiling and just before passing she would always give him a little nudge to move over. As a regular bystander, one would not think much of this redirection. After years of working in residential facilities, I knew what she was doing. She was teaching him something quite simple...social boundaries. You see, her son has autism. Her life involves daily repetitive cues such as these or ways to curb his obsessive compulsive tendencies. Her life will always be this and she does it bravely. While others see trips to Disney, she uses it as an educational tool. Every day and everything is one big therapeutic plan.
I finally met her while sitting at our chiropractors office...injured. The bond was instant. We were both injured and definitely sidelined. Both of us single moms unable to take our issues out on the pavement. While mine would eventually work themselves out, her battle will be lifelong. She never once made my issues miniscule to hers, she just understood that need to have our outlet. We both craved making those bridges collapse with our worries. She became my shoulder and joined me on the rollercoaster of 2013. She always said, its always easier when there is someone next to you screaming too.
While most of my issues are at bay now, she continues that same routine daily and running up her own bridge. Luckily, she can run about it now too cause shes been broken of the injury chains. Everyone sees this smiling boy so carefree, but we both see the challenges she faces daily. Ive seen so many parents give up and she keeps moving along, accepting this with arms wide open.
Today, I saw them running the bridge together again. She as always, moved him out of my way. His arms waved freely into the air and his smile was ear to ear. I thought to myself, everyone should run that freely. I yelled as they passed, "he looks so happy!!!" I later text to tell her he had made my morning and this, "He just looked so happy running along....we should all be that happy. Sometimes his world is better than ours. Good job momma." Her response, "I agree. Definitely a hidden blessing. A simple mind. If we all could just go thru life like that."
My first steps as a baby according to my parents was actually a run. At 5yrs old my dad took me to the NYC Marathon, but truth be told I had no idea why people were running down the street. All this was foreshadowing for what was to be a life of running almost 30 years later. "If opportunity doesnt knock...build a door."
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