Rock em Sock em Shin Splints

I try very hard to keep a balance of activities for all the kids. I learned this from my parents, though the time frame between children is different and they didn’t have 4 of them, 2 of them twins.
As a result, I volunteered to do a 5K for my oldest on Saturday. It sounds so innocuous, that number. 5K. It is only when you get to the starting line, surrounded by people, having avoided a lick of training or otherwise powerful exercise, at it sinks in you are going to have to traverse 3.1 miles. Now, I have lost a little bit of weight in the last few months, 15 pounds or so, but it isn’t through exercise and focus. It is because my day begins around 6am, sometimes earlier, and doesn’t end until sometime after 11. Often, I don’t sit down in a chair until after 10pm. I move around, walk, cook, even walk a mile or more most days frowork in order to get into better shape.
But 3 miles, when your daughter is running and you have only walked, is mammoth. Abbi surpassed me early, texting me through the course and telling me when she passes mile 1, mile 2 and then the finish.
I made it, of course, but not quickly. What really surprised me was the odd conglomeration of people. Many women showed up with neatly groomed hair, their makeup done up, dressed in designer pink and purple jogging suits at were better suited for clubbing than for running. It was a great cause, the end of sex trafficking of young girls, but I could hardly believe the people surrounding me.
Still, by 9am we had run the entire race, showered and moved on to events of the day. I cleaned, went the store, and headed to get my other 3 kids from their aunt’s house.
Abbi was spending the night at a friend’s. The reason being it was homecoming at school, and she had no date. It is here I miss Andrea so terribly. I had no idea how to deal with the issues of a young girl who feels so dejected. At best, I was terrible at dealing with the dating world. The few dates I had as a kid were likely disastrous at best. The later girlfriends were short relationships. I had very poor self confidence and was not particularly sure things would ever go well.
So for Andrea to even show interest in me was confounding. Here was this beautiful blonde woman, with eyes the color of the sky after a storm, asking me after an evening with friends seeing the band Rush when we were going out together again? We did, sitting up all night talking, falling asleep on the couch in each other’s arms. That was all, nothing salacious or nefarious. It was her, sparking my confidence, helping me realize I could ask her out and knowing we could have a lot of fun and still fall in love.
She was the force of nature that could help Abbi understand what it was like. For now, the best type of advice is that I just cannot make all the kids happy all the time. I would have to let her figure it out, working through the life of a high school kid on her own.
So she did it. No angry, pouting bouts of depression. She spent the night with friends.
So back to the even handed activities. Where Abbi took me to a run, the other three were obsessed with the movie Real Steel. Here we were, at the end of the day, my shins screaming at me because I ran farther than I have for several years, walking up to a two hour equivalent of a celluloid Rock-em Sock-em Robots. It made their night. It also drove home the fact that sometimes it isn’t a big, major event or massive philosophical metaphor by dad. Sometimes the best thing you can do is exercise and watch a couple robots beat the snot out of each other.
There is a metaphor for life there. I just can’t figure out what it is until the ibuprofen kicks in so I can walk across the room.

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