I knowwwwww. Mothers Day was last week.
But, it’s 2017. And I’m technically in that millennial category. We make our own rules and own the experience, right?? I say, why limit to celebrating mom to ONE DAY? 😉 Also, I LIVE WITH Mom Brau currently, so she knows what’s up. After a solo morning ride to get some miles in last Sunday, I met up with my parents and aunt and uncle on the Midtown Greenway (brilliant trail system in the Twin Cities) for a little Mothers Day ride and drink stop. So, don’t worry, we did the Mom’s Day thing right.
TBH, this post wasn’t planned. And I realize I’ve been pretttttty MIA for the past month, but you guys… MAY HAS BEEN CRAZY. Thus, the delay. But, on Sunday, as I was thinking about what I should say in a Facebook shout-out to Mom Brau, I realized I couldn’t say what I wanted to share in just a single-short-witty-i-think-im-clever type post.
Not this year at least.
And that’s because every year I tell my mom that IM SWIMMING IN AN OCEAN FOR HOURS, or this year’s IM RIDING MY BIKE THROUGH A MOUNTAIN, and no… I don’t YET have a plan to manage my chronic-life-threatening-disease during the adventure BUT ILL FIGURE IT OUT.
And she is always like, OKAY COOL. Keep me posted on when this is happening and ILL BE THERE.
When I first read about the Bike Beyond opportunity, I sent an email to my mom saying “oh em gee. I want to do this.” [I have since deleted the email, but this is probably a pretty accurate replication.]
She replied with a quick, “you need to get summer off!”
She was probably thinking, “umm… you rode your bike TWICE last year… good luck with that.”
When I told her I had confirmed a spot to swim the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim (MIMS), she asked “when is it?” Then a week later, “I looked at VRBO’s today! We should stay here!”
She has followed me to Key West, San Francisco and New York to watch me pursue adventures not available in Minnesota. She agreed to crew my MIMS swim without hesitation (or any prior knowledge of what she would have to do), convinced her sisters to join her AND manned my SnapChat during the swim (obvi important). Three of the past four summers, I’ve dedicated to train for a swim and she has always dedicated her time to joining and supporting me.
Throughout all of this, I really have no idea what is actually going on in her head. Does she think I’m crazy? Probably. Does she want me to take a year off of training for events and quick committing to things I don’t have time for? Maybe. But, I don’t know because she puts any thoughts like that aside and doesn’t waiver in her positive and supportive response when I tell her what I want to do next. And guys, this is really important.
So much of completing ANY endurance event is being mentally prepared. Mentally prepared for the shear amount of training you need to do. Mentally prepared to give up social opportunities and weekends. Mentally prepared for what could go wrong during the event and how to react to it. Mentally prepared to maintain the effort when it’s difficult. And, mentally prepared to finish the adventure. Or NOT finish the adventure, because that is OKAY too. For me, this all starts with the first person I tell about whatever it is I want to do. That person is more than likely my mom. Her positive and casual reaction to whatever I’m proposing sets on course the mental toughness needed to even think about the training and time commitment it takes to prepare for a swim — or a ride — or whatever. It tells me — hey it’s okay if its a crazy idea. I’m going to act like it’s as normal as running a 5K. You can tackle it. And we’ll be here to support you every step of the way. And then we’ll be there to have a beer with you after.
Finally, it should also be noted that the verbal support one can give can only mean so much without all the ACTIONS that make that support possible. And there are A LOT of things that make up that actionable support.
So, THANK YOU, Mom.
Thank you for… acting excited even if you think I’m crazy… attending ALL MY EVENTS from middle school swim meats to ocean swims across the country… recruiting supporters… letting me live with you!… booking the AirBNBs… not caring that this post is a week late… doing the research… not freaking out at the cost of my events… planning an awesome fundraiser… getting donations… bragging about me ;)… buying the WINE… letting me use your basement as storage… asking my opinion… not bothering me about blood sugar and trusting my ability to take care of myself… letting me use your bike rack… and encouraging me to move anywhere, swim anywhere and experience everything.