We're seven or so months into this little thing called COVID-19, and we're wondering:
How is your life and running during the pandemic?
We're collecting essays from the Another Mother Runner community about life and running during the pandemic during the month of October, and we'd love to hear from you.
Here are the guidelines:
—These are not essays about how you're doing the same thing every day. Nor are they politically oriented, a call to wear—or not wear—masks, or anything about conspiracy theories.
—Instead, Seven Months: My Life and Running During the Pandemic is an entry into a short, detail-rich story that has some kind of universal theme or resonance.
—The story doesn't have to be about running, nor does it have to have a happy ending—it can be funny, empathetic, enlightening, scary, whatever.
—500 word limit. (No exceptions!)
—All entries up for consideration must be received by October 11, 2020; send essay (again: 500 words max) and a picture of yourself (either a head shot or a vertical one of you running) to [email protected] with subject line: Seven Months.
Guilt is easy to come by these days. 10 hours of screen time a day? Check. The planned birthday trip to Japan cancelled? Check. Choosing between two bad options for school? Check.
Equally abundant is joy at what we have been given: Time as a family; ice cream runs at 2 p.m.; projects long delayed now completed. Every day I strive to focus on the abundance.
But guilt doesn't fight fairly. It's like a 200-pound gorilla boxing against a lightweight. Guess who wins?
Today's gorilla takes the shape of children who refuse to move their bodies. When the pandemic started and Minnesota was collectively sequestered, my kids each went for a short walk with me almost every day. Then a couple of times a week. Then randomly.
As a runner, I keep my depression, emotions, soul-sucking-pandemic-pit-of-
My children spend all day in their bedrooms on technology; I am not exaggerating. All.Damn.Day. Th
BUT/AND...my children are 16 and 11. We do not parent by dictatorship. They are independent people who get to decide what happens with their bodies.
BUT/AND...I worry about their depression and anxiety, about their atrophying muscles and unconditioned hearts.
BUT/AND...when do I pull parenting rank and demand movement?
I tried focusing on what's in it for them. I thought my 11 year-old would rise to the challenge of a mile a day She could track a streak on the calendar and sport her swanky running gear. Nope.
My 16 year old might find someone/way/thing that will convince her thatmovement will only help her constant growing pains and aching knees. Nope.
I have invited them to join me. I have quoted Coach Liz quoting Sir Isaac Newton so many times, the eye roll now starts before the fourth word is out of my mouth, "An object in motion..." I've tried, "We can do a mile and I'll drop you back off at home." "How about just a quick walk around the loop?" They have yet to take me up on it.
Why won't they listen to me and just do what I say?
So now I have decided to replace guilt with inspiration. I keep lacing up. I announce my mileage at dinner. I make sure Girlchild and AlsoGirl know when I am meeting up with BRFs for a long run. I say out loud, "I need a mental reset; heading out for a run." I do my strength training in the middle of the living room and invite any interested parties to join me (Dimity is a celebrity in our house).
And, if nothing else, I figure that gorilla will throw on some running shoes and keep me company.
Read more Seven Months into the Pandemic essays.