May 21 2018
How running after losing my leg has helped me find my identity and purpose.
This article originally appeared on Angelica “Helly” Bermudez’s blog Helly On The Run.
It’s been a bit of a whirlwind career-wise as I try to figure out whether I want to be a working mom or a stay-at-home mom (SAHM). I was a teacher for a long time, had a kid, went part-time, had another kid, took a year off, went back to work, then left work altogether.
When I’m asked how I’ve been able to improve so much with my running, I must admit that I think a big reason is just that—I haven’t been working. There’s definitely something to be said about how work stress impedes on one’s running performance (at least for me).
I honestly think I did so well racing last year because running became the only thing I worked for and toward. Besides taking care of my kids and home (two huge things), my only other big commitment was staying on track with my training schedule. I really thought of it as my job. When Thursday called for 11 miles at tempo pace, that’s what I did because that’s what I was supposed to do, per the schedule. When that 4 a.m. alarm went off, I got up and went to work.
Since I wasn’t employed, running and training was something I could get fulfillment from–something that could make me feel a different sense of accomplishment. Not to say that I don’t get fulfillment as a SAHM, but having had a job my entire life, being employed had become a part of who I was.
Running became my job. And since I really do love working, this wasn’t such a bad thing. I clocked in and out on my Garmin, and each week I’d collect my mileage paycheck. My bonus? Finish lines (and PRs).
It hasn’t been a bad gig, but I’m still at a crossroads when it comes to what I really want to do. I love having a job and actually really miss it. On the other hand, I’ve also enjoyed being at home with my kids and making training a big part of my daily life.
I always admire those who can do it all: work full-time and train full-time and be parents full-time. I just know that, for me, one of those is eventually going to suffer. When it comes down to it, I know that one thing will most definitely be my training.
With big goals like trying to qualify for Boston, a part of me wants to sign another contract with running.
Yet the workforce keeps calling…