Thursday, August 10, 2006

Death by Double Jogger--Part II

After I narrowly avoided death and pulled the jogging stroller down from the garage, I loaded up the kids and their snacks so we could head out.

I am not sure why I feel compelled to bring snacks for a 45-minute outing. It is not like they are suddenly going to get hunger pangs or something because I feed them on a regular basis. More than anything, it's an activity to keep them occupied and avoid dialogue since I can't talk anyway when my heart rate is in the 170s.

We rolled down our street onto the gravel paths in our neighborhood. Just as we had gotten past the point of no return, I noticed that the back right tire was quite low. Flat is probably a more accurate description. The metal wheel wasn't touching the ground or anything, but almost. And my 45-pound son slumped on that side wasn't exactly helping matters.

This was the perfect time to quit the workout! I can't keep going on a flat! However, I knew that at home I wouldn't be able to use the bike pump to resolve this situation. (I am not super dumb as I know most 8 year-olds can use a bike pump. However, I am married to Tim The-Tool-Man Taylor and he uses an air compressor suitable for a 747 to blow up ducky intertubes, so I would be risking life and limb to hook it up). And Brad and I have a triathlon coming up so I need to be in good shape to avoid drowning in the swim, thus forfeiting the competition (and life).

So, onward we trek. The first 15-20 minutes of the run is decidedly uphill. I am working just to put one foot in front of the other while Lilly is working to make sure we don't see any snakes. When she sees a stick longer than 6 inches, she screams in fear and Jackson is ready to push her out of the jogger because the shrieking noises were 3 inches from his ear. Unfortunately, I couldn't mediate the situation because I couldn't make eye contact with the perps and shouting is out of the question due to reduced lung capacity.

Just as we get near the top of the hill and I'm officially breathing for the whole neighborhood to hear, my cherubs start asking for snacks. I'm using my right arm to singlehandedly support this 105-pound deflating mass while using my teeth to rip open some Mini M&M's and Rescue Hero Snacks earned during room clean up. Passing water bottles and sippy cups to the front of the jogger is throwing me off-balance and cars are slowing because the situation looks like it might end in disaster.

Then it hits me--shouldn't they be handing me, the athlete, some snacks!? Shouldn't there be an aid station with Gu Packs and Gatorade readily available? This is all backwards.

Just like motherhood. There are so many days when I am physically, emotionally, and spiritually spent, but the demands of the kids remain. That's when I am so grateful that I can rely on God's love to fill me when I'm empty and His strength to literally hold me up. I am so limited and He is so limitless. Nothing like physical pain to clearly paint the picture of God's sufficiency despite my weakness.

I realize that sacrifice requires the strength of God. If I am capable of sacrificially giving of myself on my own terms, it is probably less than sacrificial.

I do attribute the remainder of our run home to God's grace. Although my right arm was throbbing and I was fantasizing about Aleve for the last half-mile, I managed to limp the stroller back into the garage. The difficulty of the situation was compounded by my pride demanding that we run the last 200 yards uphill on our street, lest our neighbors think we were out sightseeing or doing something fun.

Due to my weakened condition, the jogger is still sitting, flat tire and all, in the garage. But Brad just got home, so I am leaving the tire inflation to him.

Thought you might like to see a picture of the notorious double jogger, complete with Lilly covered in chocolate ice cream due to her reluctance to hand over the cone before she fell asleep.


Andy Rowell said...

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