The Guilt of Being an OCR Parent

Article submitted by Strong Momma, Jaime

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It’s a Sunday, the day after my first BattleFrog race that was held in Barre, MA. My husband and I spent the night on Friday night, got up early on Saturday and headed to the race site. We were there most of the day as I ran the 8K and my husband did four laps for the BattleFrog Xtreme. I was alone most of the day, you would think that I was bothered by that, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Being a parent of two active boys, I crave alone time. I don’t get it often, so when I did on Saturday, I ate it up!
I chatted with complete strangers, hung out at the sponsor tents, shopped, FaceBooked, Instagramed (is that even a word?), and was just able to “BE.” I am sure other parents out there right at this moment are shaking their heads in agreement with me.
Now, I am home with my two boys, its pouring rain out and everyone is miserable. My husband and I are downright tired, and our boys are downright bored. We are pretty much all getting on each other’s nerves. I get it, I get it…we did this to ourselves (I hear what you are thinking), we shouldn’t be complaining about how tired and sore we are. I am coming down from that “I just kicked that Obstacle Course Races Ass” high and my children are acting out. This is about the time the “Guilt” sets in. I feel guilty for having fun, I feel guilty for being away from my children for a night, and I feel guilty for wishing I was back on that course!
But, why do I feel this guilt? Why do I feel as though I am being selfish for being a weekend warrior once, sometimes twice a 11781604_10206371352275066_1409220275931721776_nmonth? Asking family and friends to watch our two boys when we make long distance travels (this has happened twice so far this season). In the back of my mind I wonder what others might be thinking. Should I be wondering? Why? This is my life, and this is a healthy sport, right? NO. This is a semi-dangerous sport that comes with a price tag, but it has brought me the greatest joy in life since giving birth to my two boys. I am 39 years old and have never had so much fun in my life. I am in the best shape I have been in since I was in my 20s!
I often ask myself: aren’t we allowed to have fun too? As busy working parents, we don’t go out on “date-nights.” We save our date nights for weekend OCR races. We spend our evenings in with our children and love every minute of it.
IMG_0606So…as parents, what should we do? Well….we incorporate our OCR love into our daily active routine. We have a small scale obstacle course in our yard and play with our children as much as possible. On race weekends, when possible, we take our children with us and sign our oldest up for the kid’s race. Some races we just can’t take our children, and that’s ok. When we are at a venue for more than 6 hours, it really isn’t a place to take a 2 year old who still naps. We use our judgment and make the call ahead of time and try to arrange for family or friends to take care of our youngest for a day, day and a half.

As a mom, wife, and woman who is about to turn 40 at the end of this year, I don’t want to look back and regret my decisions I am making now. All I know is, I am healthier, happier and have more patience with both of my boys than I did one year ago almost to the day. I attribute this new found mental and physical happiness to my love for obstacle course racing. If at the end of the day my children and husband are happy with the choices I have made, then so am I.

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