I have this awesome friend from running -- she is faster and older than I am, so the perfect role model. She hasn't had it easy -- major losses in her family, weight loss, and more, but she has the absolute best attitude. A fair number of my friends have kids, so they're all moms, but in many ways, she represents "mom-like" characteristics to me more than most.
The best example is of course from my own mom. One day my mom was undertaking her first marathon with a friend, and my sister-in-law, my then future sister-in-law (now officially my sister-in-law), and I all ran the half. My mom did not have a good day and she didn't finish. It was a very small race. She was used to taking Advil before she ran, and she'd forgotten that morning. The weather was not good (snow in mid-May). And she was in last place -- police car following right behind her. And while this would be no big deal in a big race, there was no one else around her. So she stopped. She was hurting. She called home for a ride and then turned to tell the police officer to go follow someone else as her husband was coming to get her and she was done. She went home, showered, changed, and then was waiting at the finish line to cheer me and my brothers' girls on.
How in the world did she do that? I'm still in awe.
I guess it's a mom thing. Putting aside her own goals for her kids' happiness and just being proud of them. I feel like that's par for the course for many moms, but at a certain point, we're all grown up and there's no reason for her not to put herself first. But my mom still does.
And I guess that's the thing with many of my friends with kids -- I see them as friends first. They complain about their kids sometimes. They worry about their own performance while running. They're kind of just like normal people without kids.
But not this friend -- she seems like a mom through and through. Not to say she doesn't push herself or worry about her performance or complain about her kids. But it's more like she's a kind of mothery friend. I've had this sense about her since I met her, but this week might be the best example.
She has been injured for about 3 months. Femoral stress fracture, and an accompanying labrial tear. Not good. 12 weeks of pool running and feeling generally miserable, like she'd lost a big part of her identity. So no Boston for her a couple days ago -- but she was there watching the winners, tracking all our friends, and sending them encouraging messages and congratulations at the finish. She is just so self-less. She's a wonderful, caring, honest, funny and determined woman.
This morning she came to boot camp with us for the very first time.
Boot camp is hard for anyone to start. It wouldn't have mattered if she'd started a year ago, right when she was at her Boston training peak, it's just different from running and many other cross-training things. Hubby and I still remember wondering if we'd ever walk again without pain when we first started. And even now, if we just go to Italy for a couple weeks and try to work out while we're there, the first few times back at camp leave us hurting.
When we're in our usual routine, neither of us gets too sore. Occasionally we'll do something new or a much higher number of reps, and some isolated muscles will hurt. For me, I'm most likely to get sore in my triceps. For hubby, it's his legs -- either quads or hamstrings, sometimes gluts. But for the most part, we'll get through any given workout intact. But not to say we never modify exercises or something. We've just done it long enough that we'll stop to catch our breath when we want, we'll sometimes quit early on one set of a given exercise, or we'll just do an easier version. It's not like we're bad @sses, but we are experienced at this routine.
So having our friend there this morning was a funny reminder of what it was like when we started. She felt out of shape and wanted to quit. We talked her in to staying, but oh, I know that feeling so well. Feeling like you can't keep up, feeling like it's too much, feeling like there must be an easier and more painless way to get where I want to go.
Our camp does a very intense warm-up. Today, it was something like this:
25 jumping jacks
25 mountain climbers
25 killer abs
25 star jumps
25 Russian twists
Then repeat another round.
Intense. Then we ran. During the run, she said she was going to leave after the run, she didn't want to over do it. It took a lot of talking to get her to stay. To tell her the main part of the workout would be less intense in some ways (we'd be going at our own pace), and it would be more core strength and less cardio. But she has it in her head that she should be able to do it all, full blast, non-stop, absolute top of her game, leading the pack. She's just not very forgiving of herself. I kept telling her the only way to get back is to keep at it. And she stayed. She pushed herself, hopefully not too hard. I kind of wish she'd gone easier, taken a few more minutes for a few breathers. That might make her more likely to come back again. I don't want her to get reinjured or be so sore that she doesn't want to do it again.
Either way, I'm so glad she came with us this morning, I hope she liked getting her butt kicked, but I hope it wasn't discouraging for her. I hope she knew it was hard for me too. Two of the exercises we did today were new to me too -- and they hurt. But she was out there, doing it, and that's what it takes. And I know she'll get back to where she was, though I know it won't be immediate -- and she knows that, she's coming back very cautiously, started with a slow and easy 2 mile run the other day (though I'm sure it felt neither slow nor easy for her). But she'll get there, I know with absolute certainty. I really hope she'll join us again for boot camp, maybe even regularly. First, I love having more friends there. But second, I think it's a good form of cross-training, a good way to strenghen non-running muscles and to build running strength.
Anyway, it was fun to look at the workout a bit through the eyes of a newbie. Ah, so glad I've stayed with it!
Sorry to be slightly discombobulated today -- I feel like work dominates about 90% of my waking thoughts right now. And probably about 50% of my sleeping thoughts. I dream about it all the time lately. Hope this makes at least partial sense...