My parents, that is. I know I talk all the time about how excited I am to go home and how much I love my mom and how we all get along so well… but life’s not always smiles and laughter.
I’ve said before that I got my start at a young age in running with girls on the run. My parents were both runners and signed me up, although they weren’t nearly as fast as I’ve become. At that age, I didn’t know any better. The running bug didn’t really hit me until junior year in high school when I joined xc on a whim to improve my swimming times. Before that, I had the endurance to run significant distances but I didn’t have the drive. Since then, my parents have stopped running due to knee injuries, back injuries, etc. They are still very active but running is no longer on the agenda.
When I go out and run 40-50 miles a week my parents criticize me. When I come home on vacations they try to convince me to go for 3-mile walks with them instead of going out for a 6-10 mile run. Sorry, but it’s not the same thing at all. I get so frustrated because I’m not running to “lose weight” or maintain compulsive exercise tendencies; I’m doing it because I love it. They don’t get that. But they should, since they did the same thing.
Yesterday when we came home from waterville, I went for a 3 mile walk with my mom. I had already run up a mountain and back (only about 6 miles) that morning, and was planning on going to zumba in the afternoon. While we were walking, she said “I thought you were going to take off running for 2 months after xc ended”. I never said I was going to take two months off. I said I had 2 months off of training to rest up for track, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop exercising. It means I can go out for a short run or a long run, depending on how I feel, and I won’t be doing intense speed workouts and races every weekend.
She proceeded to explain to me that I am going to ruin my body if I didn’t start cross training a lot more and run shorter distances and less often. She “knows it” and doesn’t know anyone that started running at such a “young” age who is still able to run. She’s convinced that I’m going to become injured to the point that I’m unable to run really early if I don’t cut way back now. I tried to explain that it’s different for me since I’m under close watch by my coach and that I’m following a very strict training plan. Not to mention that I’m not her and my body is different than hers.
It ruined the entire mood for the walk and it’s something that comes up every time I go home for a vacation, which really bothers me. I am careful in my training. I don’t overtrain. I make sure to stretch, I don’t do anything if it hurts me, and I have a coach that is extremely cautious. He never pushes us if there is a slight chance of us being injured.
I don’t know if any of you have ever experienced this, but for me it’s dejavu from when I was in the heart of my ED and my parents cut me off all exercise. I was miserable. I love working out. It’s a release for me. So to have parents who have been in my place before and still not support me, that’s really hard. I’m going to cut way back on my running, but I’m going to do it when I first get home for Christmas and I can go to the gym and do yoga, zumba, pilates, go skiing, walking, etc. It’s going to take time for me to adjust and this week I’m already cutting back to 35 miles.
I know that my parents only want what’s best for me and they’re worrying about me overdoing it. They want me to be able to run until I’m 80 if that’s what I want to do, but sometimes I wish they would pretend to understand where I’m coming from, and see what I’m saying. I really believe I’m doing the right thing for my body, and to have the people I care about most in the world doubt me is one of the hardest parts about coming home.
This is clearly a major vent session, so sorry if it’s boring to read. It’s just something that’s been on my mind for a long time.
Have you ever been criticized for over-exercising?
Are your families supportive of your workout habits?