Babies and Boston

It was one of those amazing weekends.

First, my sister-in-law gave birth to the next generation of Moritz on Saturday. Ellie came into the world on my brother’s birthday, the day I wrote about what a great dad he would be. Clearly the girl has an impeccable sense of timing.

Her arrival also coincided with some scuttlebutt in the Twitter and online world about a retreat of movers and shakers in the women’s sports world hosted by espnW — a forthcoming platform by ESPN. Whether it’s to reach out to a female audience or cover women’s sports or both was unclear at the time. There are plenty more thoughts on this topic to come, but as I thought of my niece and the debate of marginalization versus empowerment I found myself become more immersed in various shades of gray. There are no perfect answers. But I appreciate and celebrate the excitement and energy. I love the attempt. Because one thing I wish to help create for Ellie is the deep belief that whatever matters to her is important simply because it matters to her. The sooner we let go of the need to justify our ideas, our passions, our dreams, the more joy we all get to bring to our lives.

If there is one thing I would like to give my niece is the absence of self-judgement and the futile search for appeasement.

The second amazing thing this weekend was tagging along at the Wineglass Marathon as part of Mark’s cheering section.

The marathon had a small-town feel despite the fact it doubled in sized and sold out for the first time thanks to publicity in Runner’s World magazine as one of the best races at which to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

Along with his friend Greg, I biked the point-to-point course stopping every five miles to wait for Mark, cheer him on and hopefully give him a laugh. Greg and I spent the five-mile increments thinking of witty things to write on the poster board shoved into my backpack. My contribution, our inside joke of  “You look ridiculous.” Only he missed reading that particular sign at Mile 15. He was too intent on throwing his gloves at us.

By Mile 20 Mark was starting to look, well, like he had run 20 miles hard. Greg and I waited on the pedestrian bridge in Corning — the last few yards before the finish line. Anxiously looking at my watch and waiting to see him appear, I honestly felt as sick to my stomach as I do before a triathlon swim start.

He crossed the line with a PR of nearly 20 minutes but we needed to wait for the official race results to see if he qualified for Boston. It would come down to chip time.

And lo and behold, he made it. With zero seconds to spare.

I couldn’t stop smiling for him.

This was my weekend to observe. It was a chance to be supportive on the sideline, both for my brother and for my boyfriend. I felt privileged to be along for the ride on both their journeys.

As for me, it helped snap me out of my post-Ironman funk, making this week much more about living out the fun rather than reacting to the crazies life decides to throw at me.

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