Sweet Addie

On October 26th I did not want to lace up, it had snowed the night before, it was cold and grey. My husband thought otherwise. He has been my running partner and coach while I train for my first 1/2. I don’t know how he does it, though I’m grateful that he puts up with my crap when we run. I like the idea of running with people but I think I’m better on my own, at least for right now. I’m not fast, so it makes me anxious when I’m with someone that runs faster than me, which is everyone I know for the time being. Even though they swear it’s o.k. for them to go slower I just can’t relax, I feel like I’m holding them back. As much as I like to solve world problems when I run, talking while running is still out of the question for me, the only thing that comes out of my mouth is heavy breathing.

Not that long ago I was a few miles in and I just didn’t have it in me, nothing worked, so I stopped. My husband ran in place while he coached me to keep moving. He recited a quote I have on my fridge from one of my favorite people, Dimity McDowell, (check out their website, http://anothermotherrunner.com/ . Dimity and her co-author, Sarah Bowen Shea, have spearheaded an incredible running movement for Mother runners. They have this knack for keeping running real, for real Mom’s and for some unreal Mom’s too, you now who  you are…8 min/milers :)).

The quote reads “…but if your body never knows what it feels like to go longer, harder, or faster, your mind will never trust that it can.” When I hear that quote in my head it gives me a boost, but for some reason when my husband was yelling it at me while he was running circles around me made me want to rip his head off. He wasn’t reading my cues very well at that moment, or maybe he ignored them intentionally, but when he said “C’mon, you gotta believe you can do it!!”. I think I said something like “I BELIEVE I CAN DO IT, I JUST DON’T EFFIN’ WANT TO!!!” (and yes I said ‘effin’, I didn’t say the real thing).

I’m happy to report that we’re still happily married and we still run together. We’ve fallen into this routine of starting together and then when he feels like speeding up he does… and then he passes me on his way back. It works. We’re together, but not step for step and actually seeing him ahead of me pushes me more than having him yell inspirational quotes at me when I want to quit.

So on the morning of the 26th I thought, “just lace up, c’mon you always feel better once you get out there“. Then as I was grabbing my iPod, Addie popped into my thoughts. She is the granddaughter of someone I know, and more recently I was introduced to her mom, Terri-Hart Ellis. Addie was diagnosed with Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome at 2.5 years of age. I had never hear of RTS before talking with Terri, I was interested and wanted to learn more, so I am.

As we pulled into the parking lot with ease, I thought “it must be cold, we got a parking spot right away“. I got my stuff together, faced the trail and said “Addie, this one’s for you“. I had on my “Badass Mother Runner” tech-t, Addie on my mind and George Harrison lulling me into a gentle pace. George always gets me going, not very fast, but he keeps me steady. That might be another good reason for me to run alone, when “Give Me Love” shows up on my playlist I can’t help but sing out loud.

So thank you Addie, Dimity, George….and Tony. For getting me out there and keeping me on the trail that day, it was one of the best runs I have had to date. Maybe it was something about being out there in the elements, I felt strong and able.

Thoughts of Addie continue to linger on my runs. It goes without saying that my son Logan is always with me, in my heart, on my mind, thinking of him helps me go longer. But on those days when I’m feeling like I need a little magic I picture Addie waiting for me around the corner getting ready to sprinkle a little running fairy dust on me.

Please take a few minutes to learn more about RTS and to meet Addie, it’s easy, just click on her page listed at the top of my blog. There you will be introduced to Addie, and her wonderful family, Terri, her mom, Michael, her dad, and Cate, her sister. I have no doubt that they will inspire you to lace up, learn more and be a better advocate, not only for RTS, but for the loved ones in your life that face similar challenges every day with grace and determination.


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Rachel Eagleton


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