with Karli Larson
The transition from stay-at-home mom to divorced-and-working-full-time mom can be challenging, and sometimes very lonely. Throw in a few cats, an ancient dog and one very brave boyfriend, and life gets downright crazy. Join me as I talk through my thoughts and struggles, my miscalculations and my triumphs. We're in this together, you and I.
When I'm not writing here you can find me over at work on the TisBest Philanthropy blog.
I call my BFF at work. We’ve been friends for 35 years, since the first day of first grade, when she wasn’t sure what bus to take home. Back then, she lived one block away from me. When she gave her address in a tiny voice to my teacher, I catapulted my hand into the air. “She’s on my bus! I live on that street! I’ll get her home! Bus 3B to Revere Street!”
I remember the pride I felt, being the one to escort home the shy girl with the long yarn-ribboned, honey-gold ponytails. I finally had a friend. This was good stuff.
Thirty-five years later, we live five hours apart instead of a block. The minute I hear her voice on the phone, though, she is right *here*. She is never far, not really.
We dispense with formalities, as usual, and dive into our urgent discussion.
“OH MY GOD,” she hisses over the phone. “I AM ALREADY PEEING MYSELF. DID YOU LOOK AT THE OBSTACLES? DID YOU LOOK? WE HAVE TO CLIMB A WALL!”
“It’s perfect for us,” I say. “There’s so much mud, no one will be able to tell we’re peeing ourselves during the entire course.”
“Go look at the obstacles. I’m getting off the phone. I can’t be on the phone listening to you look at the obstacles or I will pee my office chair.”
She hangs up, and I adore her even more, if that is possible. I can’t imagine how much I will love this woman by the time we are 80, 90. This is the best New Year’s Resolution ever. We are going to get dirty. Really, really dirty.
We are going to get moving, and we’re going to do it together, apart. We are going to forget about the kids and the men and the bills and the owies and do this together, for ourselves, to celebrate who we’ve been, who we are now, and who we want to be.
Our goal: The Dirty Girl Mud Run in Scranton, PA, on May 5, 2012. What’s a Dirty Girl Mud Run, you say? So glad you asked. We stumbled upon it online, looking for a 5K somewhere in between us, a training goal to keep us motivated. The Dirty Girl Mud Run site explains it this way:
“Dirty Girl is unlike anything you’ve ever done. This female-only, 5K mud run is designed for women of all fitness levels. The 11 military-inspired obstacles are fun and unique but with just enough hell to keep your palms a bit sweaty. And the entire event is designed to be organic and eco-friendly. In fact, many of the obstacles will be recycled back into the earth. Think you’re a Dirty Girl? Well, here’s your chance to prove it.
If that’s not reason enough, get dirty for a good cause. A portion of all proceeds goes to support breast cancer research, awareness & education.”
It all began with my BFF posting two weeks ago on Facebook that she was starting a running program. I asked her what kind of shoes she was wearing, because I was thinking about starting running again too, she didn’t answer. When I asked again about the shoes, she cracked up. “I thought you were being sarcastic!” she said. “I can’t believe we’re both doing this! Now!”
I used to run a little back in the days pre-kiddies—before I fell off a curb and rolled my left ankle when hugely pregnant, nearly snapping a tendon. The ankle never healed properly, so power-walking and hiking with the dogs and swimming at the Y have been my sporadic exercise choices. But it’s not enough for this pokey metabolism now. I need to do more.
So we’re following the Couch-to-5K Running Plan, which is a simple approach to taking up running (or getting back to it after a long hiatus), building stamina and muscle to tackle three miles comfortably in two months of training.
If I am huffing and puffing here in Massachusetts, sweating and lurching my way down a freezing New England road, knowing that she’s doing the same damn thing five hours away makes me feel like she’s right by my side.
This is the best New Year’s Resolution I’ve made in a long, long time. Training apart but together in spirit with my best friend keeps us closer than ever…and eagerly anticipating the hilarity of the Dirty Girl Mud Run. We’ve registered. There’s no going back. But who would want to?
She has two daughters too, almost the same age as mine. “We are going to be the COOLEST MOMS EVER,” I say. “Can you imagine them, cheering us through the mud pit and the tires and the cargo net?”
“I think this is going to be a yearly event,” says my BFF.
“I think you’re onto something there,” I say.
What’s your New Year’s Resolution? Still not sure? Feel free to adopt ours and come play in the mud with us! Come join us at the Dirty Girl Mud Run on May 5, 2012!
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