The arrival of March brings the memories of my mother’s passing. It has been 13 years now and I know time heals, but it can never make you forget what you have lost. At the time of my mother’s passing I was attending college in Alaska while she was in California. At the time, I was not a runner nor did I ever desire to be one. Sure, I was all about rock climbing, skiing, ice climbing, hiking and even spending some occasional time at the gym hanging out on the elliptical. My mother knew I wasn’t a runner like her. She often encouraged (or forced) me to run in little fun runs… the furthest one might have been a 5K I completed (half walking) during her Portland marathon debut. Getting fired from my lame job at IHOP (I was 18 at the time) in order to take a weekend trip to watch her finish the Portland marathon was one of the few times I showed my mother support for her running. I didn’t understand her love of running. I didn’t understand her need to run at least 5 miles every day. I didn’t understand her desire to run 26.2 miles without stopping… and then do it again and again.
After my mother’s passing I would run occasionally. Mostly only if I really had to like during my training in the Coast Guard. It took me having my own children before I started to take running seriously. My main reason at the time was to lose baby weight. My mother was always very thin and I just assumed that running made her that way. I didn’t think about the other reasons why she might have been so thin. Running was just the one positive thing that I could have a firm grasp on.
As I started running I began to think about my mother in a new light. We weren’t always on the best terms because she made many mistakes. I always focused on the negative and refused to cherish the positive. As I continued running I began to turn towards the positive aspects of my mother’s life. I know that everyone makes mistakes and it was time for me to learn from all of the experiences that I had faced during my childhood. My mother was strong and determined when it came to running. I took her strength and doubled it. I refused to become like her in many ways, but was comforted by the fact that I could make my own choices and carry on her strengths.
Even though she is no longer with me, running has brought my mother and I closer together. Running has meaning now. It is my passion. It is my strength. I am a runner just like my mother.
It is amazing how you still can get close to your mother even though she isn’t here, all through running. I’m sure she’s proud of you 🙂 it just took you some time to realize that you’re passionate about running like her.
Thank you! I appreciate your comment!