2am on a Saturday is when I once would have been creaking open the front door after a successful Friday night out. This time, however, it's the first of my new wake up calls from Z-Girl as we've entered into the teething zone.
Again at 5am - and this time I'm forced up and out of the comfort of my toasty bed. I have to be up for parkrun (5km Running Group) in two hours and now I'm in the twilight zone of baby nursing. Pacing up and down with my daughter over my shoulder trying to calm her and ease her pain. As well as the obvious tiredness, I'm also facing the uncertainty of how long little Z will take to fall asleep. Straight away would be ideal! However if it takes 30 minutes, for example, I have to decide whether it's worth getting an extra hour and a half of sleep or just get on with the day and snooze in the afternoon.
My wife has been up three times already and grunts "your turn, honey" at me from under the doona. So I shuffle downstairs, flicking the sports news on and making a little bit of breakfast while Z-Girl lays on her play mat shoving every toy in her mouth, the product of her early teething. It takes nearly an hour and I choose the latter option.
The second alarm, this time the real one of the non-human type, blings to remind me to get the wife up.
She is NOT interested! In fact she has more interest in the cool side of her pillow, as the current side she is on must be as warm as hell as she blasts me with "I can't be bothered, I'm so tired, just go without me!"
NOPE I'M NOT HAVING IT! I enjoy few parts of my training more than parkrun Saturday's as it's such a great opportunity to do something active as a family. And sometimes my wife just needs a kick in the backside. It's a terrible mental catch-22; you're tired but you want to get your post-preggy body back (I'm talking about my wife here, not me) and to do it you need to be active and focused, all the things being up three times in the night with a teething terror doesn't help.
So I told my wife to get her ass out of bed; yep that was pretty much it. I thought about getting all motivational, telling her to do it for the team, the fans and the sponsors, ha! But sometimes a simple one liner works best. I know that running makes my wife happy, I've seen it with my own eyes. The buzz she has when she's completed a marathon, half marathon and her weekly jog in the park for parkrun. Her mood is better, her diet is more focused and she feels better about herself. So, with love, I told her to get her ass out of bed!
The thing with having a little one is you naturally throw your focus towards their tiny little world of fluffy toys, breast milk and nappies, and forget that you live in a world of work, friends, family, taxes and traffic jams. But outside those traffic jams and tax paying is those early moments every morning and every night where you catch yourself staring into the mirror.
It's that mirror talk that turns negative first, where you step out of the shower and catch a glimpse of your body, or you're brushing your teeth and see the bags under your eyes or the extra grey hair you thought was shaving cream doesn't wipe away. We face ourselves first every day, and it's how we react to this I believe sets up the next hour, day, week, month and in the end, our life. So in essence if you want the best of things sometimes you have grind the hardest rock - today's rock was lack of sleep.
This bus needed a driver, so I took the wheel, threw some warm clothes on Z-Girl, grabbed a couple of bananas, slugged my half a mug of coffee and assisted getting the wife out the door.
It was a cold morning and despite the tired body, the cool fresh air warmed slightly as the sun woke up after we arrived. I pushed out a Pram-Run PB, got to catch-up with some running buddies and saw my wife back in stride again with her familiar post run smile.
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