This weeks post is going to be different from any other post I will probably ever write. It will definitely be the hardest one I ever write. I apologize now if it is long, but there is a LOT I need to say. If only I can find the right words to say it. On this Monday, I want you all to know me, and what REALLY motivates me to run. To you, this will all read easily, but as I sit here with a lump in my throat and tears welling in my eyes, know that the typing isn't flowing as smoothly. Man, none of this is making any sense yet, but it will, I hope. Usually, writing comes very naturally to me and the words just zoom out. But not now. My hands are shaking above the keyboard as I am about to write something, that I never have and share a part of my family with the world that hasn't been shared. To explain what I am babbling about and what my motivation is I want to introduce you all to someone...
When we took him to the doctors and he watched him twirl his headband over and over in his hands while singing to himself, he confirmed our diagnosis. He was high functioning, but yes he had ASD. We would start him in occupational and speech therapy as soon as possible. Jesse and I thought we had prepared ourselves for this, and we kept it together quite well at the office, but when we got home we began to unravel. It wasn't that we felt like we had lost a child, but we had lost that imagined future of our child. Suddenly the what ifs? came pouring into our heads and there was no off switch. What if he couldn't go to a normal school? What if he was the weird kid that everyone made fun of? What if he never got married? I desperately wanted to know all of my children and what if I never was able to really know Peyton or him me? Then, there was all the care Peyton would need. Neither of us considered ourselves to be the worlds best parent and now it was up to us to give Peyton the best chance for success possible. What if we weren't up to the task. Up till then life with Peyton had been a constant struggle; frequent outbursts, violence, shouting, low obedience, lack of communication, boredom with people, picky eater and over the last two months many of his symptoms have been getting worse, probably because of all the new stresses. To make matters worse, I suffer from depression and anxiety (you're just learning so much about us aren't you?) so those close to me were afraid I would get stuck in a hole of depression and wouldn't be able to work my way through the rest of the grieving process. Things looked grim. People tried to console us with "Well, at least it isn't something worse." Yeah, that doesn't help at all. Tell someone who's relatives died "Well at least everyone you know isn't dead." See if it helps.
We needed to grieve, all the books said so. It was just a matter of how long it would take us to get to that last step. For some it takes years, my dad can apparently do it in a night, I am somewhere in between. It may not seem like I am almost through, but I am.. Peyton is the most amazing kid. He can work his way around the computer like no ones business, he is actually super athletic and has quite the jumping skills, when he wants to be he is the sweetest big brother, comforting Brady and bringing him blankets, he loves numbers and counting and really does have a great memory, and he loves us and wants to be around us. Once we are able to get all of his good qualities to shine, I am hoping people won't notice his "quirks" as much. Getting there will be a challenge. Everyday will be a struggle. But this is worth it. My son deserves the best chance at a normal life he can get.
Bringing this back to running and motivation... Peyton is my training motivation for two reasons, one more selfish than the other. Like I said, life with Peyton can be hard, frustrating, tear inducing, and just plain exhausting. Some times, I need to be just me. I feel most like me when I am doing something athletic. I train to get a break, to destress, to refresh. There are days when I need a breather and to get away and feel nothing but raw strength and power coming out from me. See, I told you the one reason was kind of selfish. The other reason being, I want to be the best Mom I can be for Peyton, and that includes being healthy and happy. We started this training journey right around the time we found out about Peyton and it has done wonders to keep us sane. For both of us, having these athletic goals keeps us focused (distracted) on something else at times when Peyton can become all consuming and being in shape gives us the energy to really be there for him.