Pace Yourself

26 Jan

Those who stop by here regularly likely know that I’m an avid runner. It’s been a part of my regimen since I was probably seven. I think what started it was my sister telling me I should be a runner because runners have small butts. But whatever the reason, it stuck and now nearing fifty, it has helped keep me relatively healthy and mentally stable.

One thing I learned from running was the value of pacing myself. I remember one particular track meet my freshman year of college where this point was very well illustrated. We were running the 1500 meter on an indoor track which adds up to about 7 1/2 laps. When the gun went off one runner from a visiting school just took off at full speed. I mean the rest12038670_10154254531642908_511981866436531684_o of us looked at each other and were like, “He knows it’s a mile right?” By the end of the first lap he was sailing off well in front of the pack. By the fourth lap, he was on the infield holding his hamstring screaming in agony.

I pictured that guy this morning as I was making school lunches. If you think of each year like a mile of a marathon, I’m on mile five. And let me tell you, some days I think I may have come out of the gate a bit too fast because I’m already suckin’ wind. Don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying the run and for the most part the pace feels pretty good. But man, every once in a while I get a parenting cramp.

As divorced dads, we all pat ourselves on the back from time to time. We make dinners, do laundry, help a kid through a school project, coach a soccer game, make it to every recital, have good heart to heart talks, drive kids all over kingdom come for school events and
playdates, make dinners, do laundry; wait I lost myself for a second. What was I talking about? Oh yeah. “GO DAD!” Parents know it’s a lot. And some days just getting the kids to school on time feels like a victory lap is in order. But know this; it’s a long, freaking, run.

If you’ve ever run a marathon, you know those first few miles you’re like, “This is EASY! Not sure what all the fuss was about!” Then at mile 21 you’re on the curb puking your guts out while your left calf muscle keeps involuntarily flexing. That’s parenting. Every mile the breathing becomes more labored. The hills get steeper. The sun beats down a little harder. And your legs get a little heavier.

So pace yourself. Stop at every gatorade station you can find. And hell, walk a few hundred yards from time to time if you need to. It’s OK if your pace fluctuates from mile to mile. Not every lunch has to include all five food groups. Not every breakfast has to be eggs, sausage, toast and juice. Sometimes a pop-tart is OK. Trust me, they’ll live even if every once in a while their socks don’t match.



Posted by on January 26, 2016 in Uncategorized


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5 responses to “Pace Yourself

  1. mygymrecipe

    January 26, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    Well written post! Keep up the good work

  2. Mark

    January 27, 2016 at 4:34 am

    Loved it. Great analogy. Cheers.

  3. mikedadmikeagain

    January 27, 2016 at 3:31 pm


  4. Howard

    February 14, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    If they are like my kids, apparently at the age of 10, it’s NOT cool if your socks match!

  5. Howard

    February 14, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    One more comment… I’ve been reading your blog off and on when I get time. You really inspire me! It’s great to see that there is a community out there that we can turn to when we get thrown into divorce. Often, we don’t know where to turn. Blogs like yours offer great advice and it just let’s others know that they aren’t alone, lots of people go through this, whether they want to or not.

    I think you called it command central… I read about your chalkboard wall when I was in the middle of my divorce. I absolutely loved it! I kept thinking about it and thinking about it. The week my ex moved out of the house, I decided to do it. I painted a wall in the foyer, facing the staircase. At first I thought OMG, it’s going to make the entry way too dark! As soon as my kids started using it, it brightened up the whole entry way. We put a calendar on there so they would know who’s house they would be at for the week, we update the weather and I stole your idea to put a grocery list up. Although I’m not so sure the grocery list works. I think it’s fantastic, I take a picture of it before I go to the store. But the kids seem to think it’s hilarious to always have a bullet point for candy. And somehow, the grocery list always gets accidentally smeared. I don’t care though, as long as were having fun. I posted a few pics of the chalk wall on facebook, the organization and the fun we were having drawing on it and friends came flooding. Everyone loved it! 3-4 friends have since put their own chalk walls up. I owe it to you! Great idea.

    We bought some of the colored chalk markers, hopefully you haven’t yet. They are super colorful and easier to write with, but the “ghost”. They go on real nice and are really vibrant, but leave marks of where they were, even after erasing. The wall looks pretty nasty now, and I’ll have to add another coat to cover it up, but you know, who really cares. The kids like it.

    Sorry so long, I’ve been meaning to write you and say thank you for the idea. It’s brought us a ton of fun, something we (especially me) have needed since the divorce!


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