Making Lemonade

By Megan Cox

Why am I making lemonade, you ask? I’ll tell you why. Because I’ve got some lemons.

In my last post, this mama of two little ones urged you to take a look at some Olympic athletes who defied the odds. When one is training for a race, especially a half marathon, it’s good to remember that we have little reason to complain. Sure we’ve got obstacles, but often, we are fully capable of hurdling them.
This week, I had to take my own advice. Sometimes, that’s bitter medicine.

As you may know, I’ve been slowly working my way up to running the distances that at one time were peanuts to me. This week I completed my first five mile run in three years, with an average of less than nine minutes per mile. This was an achievement, to be sure. I was so pumped because I was able to do it with no one wailing at me, courtesy of the YMCA childwatch. Kids were happy, I was happy. Everyone’s a winner.

Enter the lemons.

My husband and I were watching recent reports of a whooping cough outbreak in the Oklahoma City area. It’s not the only state suffering this affliction. With my husband’s encouragement, I called the pediatrician’s office to inquire whether my children, ages two and four months, were adequately vaccinated for the extremely contagious illness. “The two-year-old is fine,” I was told. “However, your baby won’t be fully immunized until six months.” The doctor’s advice? Keep the baby out of any loosely controlled childcare situation. Uh oh.

As I ranted that evening about the hardship this would create for my training schedule, now that I had to find a way to schedule all my runs around the very demanding work schedule of my husband, my significant other reminded me that nothing will ever be perfect. “Perfect?” I cried. “It was hardly perfect to begin with!” And then I felt ridiculous.

How can I complain? I have a wonderful, supportive husband and two beautiful, healthy kiddos. I have two legs that are injury-free and strong (even if they’re not fast). I have an amazing life, with time to spend with my babies and the ability to chase the career of my dreams. What’s not to like? So I have to get up early a few times a week on less than a full night’s sleep. Oh boo hoo for me!

Yes, it was time for an attitude adjustment. My husband is right (oh I hate when that happens!). Life is not perfect. It’s how you deal with those imperfections that tell the most about your character. Within a few days, I had offers from my in-laws and friends to help out when needed. My whining and ranting made me feel really, really silly.

So on with the training! This is barely a bump in the road, a blip on the radar. If it’s the biggest hurdle I have to face in the near future, I’m one lucky girl. Nothing is worth putting my kids in danger. And if that means I’ve got to squeeze some lemons into lemonade, then bring it on.

This is a guest post by Megan Cox, an Oklahoma City-based novelist, writer and contributing blogger for HalfMarathons.Net. Learn more about Megan at her website.

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