You wake up before the crack of dawn. Something always seems to ache. Your hair is usually pulled in a sporty-looking pony tail. And, interestingly enough, you don’t get bored doing the same thing over and over. Initially, I think you’re an endurance athlete. On second thought, you’re probably much more than that.
On September 30th, 2012, I sat in a hotel restaurant with my mom, aunt and little cousin as we recapped the events of the day. They asked me how I felt and if I needed anything to drink. I had just completed my first half-ironman. I wondered how they had entertained themselves for the nearly three hours I was cycling and another two hours spent running. Apparently, they went shopping.
As my mom proudly showed off her brand new t-shirt with “Ironmom” emblazoned across the chest, I saw blurred lines. Though I was the Ironman finisher that day, the women sitting right in front of me were, indeed, Ironmoms – and have been all along. Suddenly, I realized that an Ironmom isn’t just a mom who races…
- An Ironmom is someone who sacrifices her hard-earned time and money to drive eight hours just to watch her daughter exercise for five and a half.
- An Ironmom laughs when her four-year-old throws spaghetti on freshly cleaned floors.
- An Ironmom is a woman who helps run the family business while raising a teenager, planning family vacations, snapping pictures and smiling the whole way through.
- An Ironmom is a woman who can think on her feet and quickly improvise when she forgets it’s her turn to bring snacks to softball.
- An Ironmom is a woman who – with nail-biting patience – lets her children live and learn from their own mistakes, knowing it will help them grow.
One day, I want to be that woman. I want to learn how to balance my personal goals with my career goals and my responsibilities as a wife, mother and friend. For four months, I was immersed in non-stop training. And in my journey to complete my first 70.3, I made a lot of mistakes. I sacrificed all the wrong things, because I simply had no idea how to juggle everything on my plate. As a result, many of my relationships were compromised and many lessons were learned. Luckily, I’m not a mother yet. But when I’m ready, I know plenty of Ironmom coaches to help train me for that lifelong event.
Thank you, Ironmoms, for all your grit and glory. Happy Mother’s Day!