Saturday, March 5, 2011

Tug-o-War of the Parent Triathlete

Now that my training schedule is returning to normal with a collection of swims (3x), bikes (2-3x), and runs (3x) in addition to the gym (3-4x), the familiar tensions of the parent-triathlete Tug-o-War have resurfaced.

This morning I hit our Huckleberry Trail for a run and saw some mom friends out with their kids picking up trash along the trail for a service project. I knew I'd be heading out post-run for a bike session and thought, there goes the entire morning. A wave of mom guilt washed over me. I wasn't out picking up trash or (insert other wholesome life-lesson bonding experience here) with my kids. Am I being selfish?

While I do get most of my early morning weekday workouts done before anyone is fully conscious at home, and lunches are packed before kids are even vertical, I do worry that the family is taking a hit, particularly on Saturday mornings.

It helps to have the support of other triathletes, runners, and athletes who have made the same choice to integrate sport with family and wrestle with the allocation of precious time and energy. Through my friend, Juliet, I learned about a blog called Mother Fitness written by another athlete mom.  She's been gathering stories of other moms and I was featured this week as a Fitspiration! The intro overwhelms me, but my goal as a contributor was to share the message that moms can be athletes too!

I'm not feeling tooooo guilty right now as I sit here playing host to three kids plus my two for about 18 hours for Spencer's sleepover birthday party.  He turned 11 on Wednesday.  We'll have the requisite pizza and ice cream cake, play Wii, Xbox Kinect, and air hockey, watch Ferris Bueller's Day Off projected on the wall, and finish up with biscuits and eggs in the morning.

I'm happy and relaxed from my run and bike and glad to spend this time enjoying my kids and their terrific friends.

So maybe both sides can win in the Tug-o-War of parent and triathlete!