Saturday, 17 July 2010


My first thought was 'no way!' No way am I ever, ever going to compete in a mums race at my daughter's school.  This year or any year.  I fumbled around for an excuse and came up with something along the lines of breastfeeding and tearing down a racetrack not mixing.

The truth of it was I was emotionally scarred from years of having to compete in school sports, always limping in last, cheeks burning.

Safely ensconced on the side lines I watched the other mums line up for the sound of the gun.  They varied in shape, size and dress.  A lot of them looked in worse shape than me.  However it wasn't until they were streaking past that it dawned on me:

1. Where once I always came in last, the playing field had levelled a bit.  
2. If I decided to run I might actually finish safely tucked in the middle of the pack. (I'm not deluded enough to actually think I would ever win!)
3. My opportunities as far as winning races had changed without even realising it. 
4. I was still leading my life according to events experienced when I was 10 or 11.

Beliefs and limitations I had taken for granted all my life were turned on their head. How many other opportunities had I missed without even questioning my choices? By the time the competitors tumbled across the finish line all red faces and wild hair I had decided to make sure future decisions were informed, and not based on someone I was 20 or 30 years ago.

I'm still not sure if you'll see me taking my place at the start line next year. But I do know that if I don't, I'll be making an enlightened choice. And who knows, maybe I'll still be breastfeeding...

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