I wrote half of this yesterday, but with work being crazy, finished it and am posting it today. I’ll try to post something else later today to make up for my lapse.
Because I’m such a good little Millenial (really interesting article here), I call my mom everyday and have a very close relationship with her. However, before I go any further, I’d like to clarify a few things.
My mom does not:
- Provide me with any money. Though she would in a heartbeat if I was in trouble and asked for it.
- Call my work, or in fact, know anyone at my job. Except my friends that I’ve introduced her to.
- Pick out my outfits for me. Though before I started work, we went shopping together and she helped me decide which suits were nicest.
However, my mom does:
- Always want to know my friends’ phone numbers if I’m going to visit them in a different city. I have stopped providing her with this information since the time she didn’t check her voicemail to find the “I’m okay” message I left after traveling, didn’t hear from me for 24 hours, and then called my friend Adam to ask him to have me call her. It was pretty embarrassing when Adam asked, “why does your mom have my phone number?” Especially because she didn’t even have Adam’s phone number from that trip (since she hadn’t listened to my voicemail to get it)… it was saved somewhere from when I had visited Adam six months earlier. (Note to self: find mom’s list of my friends’ phone numbers and take it away from her).
- Always want to know what flights I’m on and here I’m staying when I travel on business. If I gave her the hotel concierge’s number, she would be thrilled. Instead, I try to be as vague as possible, because I do notwant the concierge to get a call asking to have me call her.
I guess our relationship does make me a pretty stereotypical Millenial, as much as I like to think I’m independent.
Anyway, how all this relates to fitness: my mom drives me absolutely nuts with her “help” on diet and exercise. Anytime I do any kind of intense exercise, I get pretty proud. However, she always deflates me by nagging at me to eat more or rest for a while. I know the importance of eating enough to fuel your workouts, and I know that it’s important to rest so your body can recover. But I hate it when she acts like she knows best and ascribes any problem I may have to my fitness regime.
Take today. I was up till 2 AM doing work, and got up at 6 AM to do more. (As I said, this is kind of a crazy week for me work-wise). When I called my mom in the cab on the way to work, she remarked that I sounded tired. I agreed. Her next statement? “It must be from the 15 miles you ran on Sunday. You should really take a break for a week.” I know it was a seemingly innocent comment, but I got so mad at her for that. I ran 15.5 miles! I want admiration and congratulations for that, not advice to stop working out for a week. She knows I’m thinking about doing a marathon, so running 15.5 miles is not really a good excuse to stop running for a while – if I did that, I would never be ready for a marathon.
When I tried to explain to her that it might be more about the 4 hours of sleep and 13 hours in a conference room with no windows staring at my laptop, rather than the run I did on Sunday (and that I actually felt completely recovered from my run), my mom couldn’t comprehend that. Clearly it is my terrible decision to exercise and eat healthy that is causing me to be tired. Never mind that my coworkers have stopped me to ask me for advice on how to be so awake and alert and healthy-looking compared to them… it is of course not my job that causes me to be tired.
To give another example, my mom came to visit for my first half-marathon. Afterward, she kept telling me to eat, and eat, and eat. (My mom is not Italian). If she had her way, I would have eaten 3000 calories to make up for the 1300 or so I burned! I’ve heard from many runners that they’ve gained weight in training, and I think it’s due to exactly that. So – I eat what I’m hungry for. That day I had an apple and a Nutrigrain bar the second the race ended, then went to brunch and had a huge crab-mushroom-asparagus omelette and a popover with strawberry butter (if you are from Manhattan, you must hit up Popover Cafe, which is my fav brunch spot). I later had lunch and dinner (don’t remember what, but nothing special or particularly heavy/light). Meanwhile, my mom left around 3 PM, and spent the rest of the night calling to check on me. What had I eaten? I should eat more. Had I napped? I should go to bed at 5 PM. Had I taken the next day off work to recuperate?
Okay, I’m exaggerating about that last one, but she did continue calling me with these types of questions for the next two days. I was fortunate to be on a very easy, low-burn project at the time, so I always sounded perky and well-rested when she called, but if I hadn’t been, I wouldn’t have been surprised if she came back down to New York to nurse me back to health from my foolish decision to run a half-marathon. What’s interesting about all this is, my mom actually used to run when she was younger. I think the most she raced was a 15K, but you would think she could understand that running long distances does not kill you.
On the plus side, she doesn’t make me run in a helmet. At least, not yet.