Erin (my 15 yo daughter): I want to run a Marathon someday. But I’m lazy! <nervous laugh>
Diane (Erin’s mom): Yea, well. That can change. <Silence>
Parents — don’t be freaked out by the silence. Let it sit there a while. Don’t rush to fill it. She’s thinking…..
When I started running — way back before the Half Marathon last April — my daughter Erin agreed to be my buddy. Yea, my buddy. This meant she had permission to check up on me, to push me, to make sure I didn’t quit. When I didn’t want to run, my buddy had to kick my butt. Truth is — I was pretty committed and self motivated all on my own. But it was good to have a buddy JUST IN CASE. What I didn’t know, until Marathon Day, was that being my buddy meant more to Erin, than it meant to me. THAT was a huge surprise. One of life’s gifts…dropping in on me. Making me cry…again!
She told me on Thursday, when I flew out from NJ to Florida — Don’t You Quit Mom, or I’m going to kick your butt! Ok Erin – I won’t. All those sorts of taunts and teases are what I noticed. Peter would tell me stories about things that happened whan I was in the ice bath after a long run. He said Erin would ask him, “Is Mom alright?” He’d tell her I was, but that I was tired and sore — because I just ran 2o miles. With a serious all-too-grown-up look on her face, she’d say – “Well, I can’t feel bad for her, because it’s what she needs to do.”
Hmmm. Interesting! I didn’t fully appreciate what was going on in that little gorgeous brunette head of hers. Not yet.
Once I crossed the finish line — well, that’s when it all came out. My little buddy was so happy to see me. I think – in many ways – she was stunned by what her Mom did! LOL. All around us, the spectacle of the FInish Line was exploding. Tons and ton of people. Runners and families. People wearing medals, like the g. d. Olympics. Runners crying from the overwhelming triumph of what they just did. Family crying from the pride and amazement. The Finish Line experience was overwhelming for me. But….it was inspirational for Erin. Something changed inside her. It made her WANT IT!
Erin: I want to run a Marathon someday. But I’m lazy! <nervous laugh>
Diane: Yea, well. That can change.
Erin: How..how does that change?
Diane: Well, you can do the Couch-to-5-K, just like I did. And if you stick with it….maybe we could run a 10K in Disneyland together at the end of the summer? Would you like that?
Erin: Do I get a medal?
Diane: Oh yea — you do.
Her eyes sparkled. Like emeralds. My little green-eyed girl.
Diane: So you just pick 3 days you want to run. Just 3 days. And you let me know. And we’ll do it together. Ok?
I think part of me didn’t expect to talk about it again. But the next day — like less than 24 hours later….she came back and said…
Erin: I think Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.
Diane: (kinda surprised) Ok. So let’s go to Dicks on Saturday and buy you some running shoes.
And there she was on Saturday, asking me what time we were going to Dicks. Then there we were trying on sports bras and buying running shorts. AND then there she was, later that same day, on the treadmill…..doing Week 1, Day 1 of C25K.
So the week has gone by, and my little girl, my little runner has done 3 days of C25K, and her mom is sooooo proud. On Tuesday, the Disneyland 10K and Half Marathon Registration opened. I signed us up right away. 10K for Erin on Aug 30th, and the 10K (Aug 30th) and the Half (Sept 1st) for me. Only one day later, I noticed a Facebook post that said — the Disneyland Races were SOLD OUT within 27 hours. O.M.G! I couldn’t believe it.
When I told Erin that we were IN, and she played it cool (like ALWAYS — COOL HAND ERIN!). Ok, she says.
It’s not until later, when she talks to Peter that she admits …..”I’m so Happy Mom got me in. I’d be really disappointed. I really wanna do this.”
<My heart is smiling>
Dear Lord — watch over Erin as she travels this path — help her find, within herself, the stuff it will take to do this. Help her find her Strength – Her Confidence – Her Self. She’s only just beginning to see what an amazing girl she is, Lord. Open her eyes…and help her see what I see. Amen
Ciao for now….Diane
Diane: This has to be one of the most beautiful and inspirational posts I have read. They always say children learn best by what parents do not what they say. Cheers to you for being a woman of your word and the power it has on those around you.
it warms my heart Carmen!
like I said…an amazing inspiration to so many!!! Go Erin:)
I LOVE that — Go Erin! 🙂
Lets start with this…I’m crying! This is a very beautiful connection between mom and daughter…and I don’t mean the running..Diane you inspired Erin to do something that she wasn’t sure about. By Erin watching you and your struggles and blisters and ice baths all of your efforts to become a marathon runner and crossing the finish line has given Erin the courage and strength to go forth and succeed in her goals. You got a medal for the marathon but in my book you get a medal for being a great mom and an inspiration to know that you can do anything that you set your my to do! CONGRATULATIONS!!
I love you Stephanie! A medal for being a great mom — ohh, let the tears begin!!
The main story was a wonderful and fascinating read. But the epilogue is even better. You done good, Diane. No, you done great. I’m happy for you and Cool Hand Erin and your entire family. As good as it gets …
🙂 stay in touch — when I reach goal, I’ll invite you back to your seat. you will have played a part in that day!! it’s coming.
You are as much an integral part of my journey as I may be to yours. You’re a better writer and runner, though. 🙂