Sunday, August 22, 2010

Trading Places

Today was an unusual day for two reasons:

1. IM did not go training first thing in the morning - and it's sunday!
2. I competed in a race and IM and kids were the supporters!

As background, I will begin by saying I have never been a sporty person. I did do quite well in some short distance running races at primary school, I then avoided sport in high school, became a gym junkie in my twenties, took up walking and yoga in my early thirties and only a few years ago after having two children, did I come to the realisation that I needed to do more aerobic workouts to lose the extra kilos from pregnancy and keep fit and healthy as I get older.

I could never be a runner I declared to my ultra fit IM husband! Famous last words...

I have to admit that having a fitness obsessed husband probably helped me to change my thoughts on running and a trainer at home who was able to slowly convert me from walking to my first 5km race was a bonus! Once I strapped on the heart rate monitor and started to understand how to train myself to be running fit,  I did not look back!

So, 4 years on and I have finished two half-marathons, training for a third and seriously contemplating the challenge of a marathon for my fortieth year.

Back to today. It was not a long race. 11.5km. It was local and didn't start early. It did not require a lot of support apart from kids being looked after and being cheered on at the end - and some TLC for the rest of the day. But it feels good.

There are partners who both train and race for long distance events and mange to juggle family and work life - and I take my hats off to them! However, I would guess that in many IM families there is one who competes and one who supports. Like ours. As I discuss in the page about me, this works well in our family and you respect each others needs and balance as best you can. What I do think is important however, is that the supporter has their own passions and goals that they can have time to spend on. This may be anything, not necessarily related to health and fitness.

Running for me seems to be a good fit. I have my own personal trainer at home, and I now have a better understanding for IM's love of running, triathlons and racing  - I even tried a mini Tri just to have that feeling of bobbing in the water at the start!

I may not have the desire to do an IM triathlon but I now have my own health and fitness goals that we can share together - and just occasionally we can trade places and I can be the competitor for the day!

Still don't think IM quite understands what it's like to support someone through IM but hey, never say never, maybe one day the desire may come for something bigger and more challenging.....

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