Saturday, February 16, 2008

Groovy blisters and a selfish daddy?

For the past few weeks, I've been doing some weight training and riding my bike on the trainer in between runs. Haven't been able to be very consistent on the runs, but every one has felt good so far. I've had to incorporate some road running back into the routines due to necessity, but that's ok for now. Surprised myself and did a 15k route in 1 hour and 18 mins with some BIG hills the other day. Since I've had to take so much time off running because of the surgery, moving, new baby, and numerous other reasons, my feet have lost the callouses and become tender. This has led to blisters where the callouses used to be and now I'm left trying to figure out the best way to manage them until I can get the base/regular mileage back up again. I've found a few routes that I can get in some long runs on the trails and will hopefully get to those soon.

Allison also started running again lately and I gladly take my turn keeping Isabella occupied while she gets back into the swing of things. She's aiming for the Denver Half marathon in June and I've just about got her talked into doing the Leadville heavy Half in July. It's cool because I can tell she's doing it because she wants to and not because she thinks I want her to. That's an important distinction for anyone who knows us. She continues to make me proud!

Being a daddy gets better every day. The little things that only mommies and daddies get to be a part of are becoming more and more special all the time. Parenthood can be such a soul searching task sometimes. I've thought to myself that I should have had kids sooner and not wasted so much of my life on myself. When I go running though, I realize that the act of running is for me only and that makes me feel a little selfish. This leads me to wonder how much and at what level I should train and indulge my love of competition as well as my love of activity in the outdoors. How do you balance/reconcile selfish desires with the selflessness of parenthood? It hasn't been much of a direct conflict yet, but I can see that it might be one day. I just want to avoid regret and bitterness if at all possible, but I'm sure that some is inevitable. Just thinking out loud.


Shane"CRASH"Jones said...

There's definitely a fine line there. Personally, If I don't get my ride or run or whatever it pus me in a sour mood. There are things that are more important than running or riding and there are things that aren't.

Anonymous said...

Good thinking Ben. Personally I believe one should wait until both parents are ready to BE parents; and to pray about the whole thing; both of which you and Allison did. Trust that God was in control all the time and that parenthood has happened exactly when it should. Since it has been proven so many times in your lives, you know you can trust God to lead you in how much and when to ride and run. As long as you are not substituting physical experiences for spiritual you are OK. I suspect some of your best times with God are when you are out, but do not exclude other times and places for spiritual growth. I am so proud of you and Allison. Love, Mimi

Paul said...

It's definitely not an easy balance. I find that, like Shane, if I don't get out then it makes it tough for me to be the best father I can. As they get older, too, you can include them in the training. My oldest daughter (10 this year!) did a duathlon about three years ago, and we've trained together a lot since then. She really enjoys our time together. Brendan, who's soon to be 7, is itching to go with me too. The divorce has been tough timing-wise, keeping a regular routine for myself, and when I have the kids I have them all by myself, so that makes it tough to get out with just one of them. But it's really worth it, cause it gives them special time with Daddy.

seanb724 said...

You don't have to consider it selfish... Everyone needs time to do things they enjoy, and sometimes those things are enjoyed from those you are closest to.

(Of course, sometimes you do things you enjoy with your family.)

Just remember you come back ready to give more to your family than you would have been if you had skipped out on what you need.

Also remember to make sure Allison gets time away to do the things she enjoys too!

Anonymous said...

Don't you dare call yourself selfish for exercising! You wouldn't be much of a parent to Isabella if you didn't stay healthy and set a good example for her. As a parent, I devote 23 hours a day solely to the happiness and contentment of my precious children, the other hour is mine to run, clear my head, and return to them a better, sane, & more patient person. They're usually in swimming lessons while I run anyway. Ruth