Running to Stand Still

Now that an injury has sidelined me from running – heck, even walking much at all, at least for the time being, it’s extremely weird. I realize now how much of my attitude and thought process has become about running, even when I wasn’t running every day. I look outside when I have a free couple of hours and think, “Gee, maybe I could get a run in.” I see ads for things online related to running – new shoes, a new app, special headbands for runners and think, yeah, I should figure out a way to get that. Or not, as the case may be. I see races advertised and find myself checking my calendar to see if I have the kid that day because if not, maybe I’ll sign up. But that’s not happening. I don’t know how the rest of the year will go, but I realize I have to really, really not run for a while, until I find out what’s wrong with my leg and hopefully begin the process of rehab. Maybe with an eye on the Turkey Trot as a return to racing, even though that was to be my last race of the year. We shall see; PT eval is next week. MRI hopefully within a month after that, if insurance approves. In the meantime, it is a constant, bad ache at rest and is screaming at me after a day of activity.

In the absence of running in the past, I’ve tended to pick something else up as exercise and movement; dance, cycling, yoga, workout videos at home, swimming, when I had access to a decent pool, hiking. All off the table right now. Need to not do that. I’m going to try to focus on lifting to maintain my strength but I can’t go crazy or that won’t help things either. This is not the way I’m used to thinking, and it is admittedly challenging.

Not running, so far, means eating and drinking too much and watching too much TV. But I’m getting past that part. The boy keeps me busy of course, and there’s cooking, and always the endless cleaning that needs done.

There’s writing, of course. I got some excellent feedback on my novel from a writer friend and really need to make some edits that take into account his questions and suggestions. But that’s more sitting. I sit and write all day, albeit not about topics of my choosing, and so it is difficult to make myself sit in front of a computer writing all evening, or even part of the evening, after Bones is in bed. And it’s been really beautiful the last few days, even with the continued, daily spats of rain. It feels like summer finally, hot and humid and sticky and wonderful. Which makes me want to get outside and…well, but yeah, not now. I force myself to relax and try not to feel lazy.

The boy is touchy, grouchy and in need of almost constant attention these days. He’s growing and it’s hard for him. He’s so busy all week at camp that the weekends seem like torture to him, with long stretches of “nothing to do,” running errands and chores. He had to receive an attitude adjustment about being mean to some kid at camp, from both the camp director and from his parents. I explained to him yesterday that camp is a privilege, not a right. That I could pay his sitter to come and stay home with him all day and there would be no field trips to the zoo or the science center or the miniature golf place, no friends to play with and not a lot of fun to be had. He knows camp is mailing a formal note home about the incident last Friday, and that after three notes, they don’t let you come back to camp. I told him my rule is going to be two notes; if there is another formal note home from camp, that will be the time I get the sitter arranged. I have a zero tolerance policy for him fucking shit up like this. I will NOT have my kid be a bully and I’m certainly not paying what I’m paying so that he can act like a brat. I think he understands. I guess we’ll see. I don’t think I can really do the babysitter thing as it would be ridiculously expensive unless I could negotiate a weekly rate with her, but I don’t know what I will do with him if he gets kicked out. Let’s hope I don’t have to find out. Only one more month of camp, surely we can get through that without another incident. I know his anger. I had it, and I still do. It gets easier to contain and manage as you get older, but when you’re little, it’s just hard to have self-control over a tornado when it quickly blows up. He’s so good natured and funny and sweet when he’s not consumed by the tornado. He just needs to get some tools in place to deal with it when it happens, as it will always happen, it’s how you deal with it that’s important. Right now, he’s not doing well with holding his tongue when he’s angry. It’s a work in progress. He will learn, I swear it.

Yesterday, we finally got to the beach. Water quality was labeled as “good,” though I insisted everyone get a shower when we came home. I got sunburned but the kid did not, so I guess that’s a parenting victory. I made him play with his sand toys under the beach umbrella and reapplied his sunscreen after he went in the water, so it worked out. But the rocks at the water’s edge, man, those are painful on the old feet, and with the waves crashing, it was hard to keep my balance and watch the kid as he frolicked. He wanted us to wear our shoes in to the edge of the water and I had visions of flip flops and crocs being eaten by the lake and walking back to the car in bare feet and nixed that action. But it felt precarious there at the water’s edge, in stones up to my ankles and water to my waist, and the boy jumping in the waves and laughing. Even a strong swimmer could have trouble in that water, it gets so deep, so quickly, and he still doesn’t know how to swim.

When camp called Friday to tell me about the behavioral incident, at first I thought something had happened to him, and my heart was instantly in my throat. I grouse about him and sometimes I lose my temper with him, like when it was time to leave the beach because he was whining about every little thing, but man, do I love that kid. Almost everything I do is in some way for him, or for me to keep my sanity so that I can be a good Mom for him. I hope one day he will see it. I hope I’m getting it even half right.

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