#20 TCF: Ode to Women, especially Mom's 🥰
My Mom will be 88 next month and she continues to amaze me. I called her yesterday because I was worried about her. Unbeknownst to me, she had spent several days going up and down a step ladder washing all the windows in her house. She was completely wiped out, obviously! I had scolded her a bit (never works) that she needed to take it easy.
I was so relieved when we spoke today, she sounded much better. Of course, she ended the call by saying she had to go before the rain starts. She needed to cut her 1 acre of grass. 🤦♀️
I had always known that she was superhuman. No one is more determined/stubborn. But I didn't fully appreciate just how incredible women, especially older women, were until I signed up for my first Triathlon nearly 20 years ago.
Growing up in the rural South, I was always taught to play small, be a lady, don't make a fuss. So even though I saw my own Mother was tough as nails, my general perception of 'being a lady' meant to be genteel, polite. In other words, submissive.
This did not sit well with my natural tendency to buck authority. But still that perception lingered. Until the day of that Triathlon.
It was a Women's Only Triathlon and a great one for a first timer. I had just moved back to Georgia from over 15 years in Colorado. I was not in a good place to say the least. I was in my mid-30's, single and a total train wreck. I was not in great athletic shape. And I'd never been on a bike with gears. The last time I rode a bike I had pigtails, my bike had a basket and banana seat.
I had only signed up out of desperation.
It was either find a healthy hobby or hit the bars. So, I borrowed a friends husband's bike that was way too big for me and found myself standing at the foot of a lake getting ready to dive in with several hundred other women.
I looked around saw all of these beautiful, healthy, glowing, teenagers and 20-year old’s and immediately thought this is going to be ugly. They’re going to crush us. And it's just going to validate how tired, slow, and older I'm getting.
But something totally unexpected happened about half-way through.
We started gaining ground! I looked around and saw a sea of women in their 40's and 50's clawing their way forward. These were not genteel ladies. They were grunting, groaning, and pouring sweat.
It wasn't pretty, it was POWERFUL. And they were dusting the young ones.
I realized then something truly remarkable about women, especially aging women. We have experienced losses, divorces, miscarriages, grave illnesses, betrayal, forgiveness, all of it.
WE KNOW HOW TO SUFFER AND KEEP GOING. We know how to use the pain.
Time and challenges have rewarded us with an extra gear. And if you're a mom, you've earned at least 10 more on top of that!
For this Mother's Day, I hope you can take a moment and appreciate not only the great times but also the challenges. What you have accomplished, suffered through, and used the pain to be the rock for your family.
You are a superhero, you are loved, and you are so appreciated!