Over the course of the last two years, I have shared ups and downs. Sadness and joy. Successes and failures. And just plain silliness. But most of all, I have chronicled my journey as a wife, a mom and runner. I have shared my moments. The way I see them. And sometimes, when you do this, you don't see the whole picture. And that's why for this special post, I have asked the three people who know me the best in those three areas of my life (my hubby, my mom and my training partner) to share with you my greatest strength and greatest weakness (with my color commentary, of course).
So, here it goes.
J's take on me as a wife:
There are so many great things that I can say about my wife that it’s really hard to pick just one. She truly is everything and more that I could have imagined as a wife. She’s organized, patient and committed to what she does. If I had to pick one trait about Tonia that is her greatest as a wife it would have to be her understanding of and support for me.
Tonia is my rock. She is 100% supportive of me and knows how to pick me up if I’m having an off day. She gets my sense of humor and no matter how ridiculous I can be or how fired up I get (mainly watching sports) she gets it and let’s me be me.
Opportunity (Obviously, he works in the corporate world ...)
While Tonia is a great wife and I wouldn’t change anything about her, I think that her biggest opportunity is that she sometimes puts herself and her ambitions on the back burner. T is a smart cookie and can accomplish whatever she sets out to do, but sometimes she decides not to do things because she doesn’t want to take away from her time with me. I am grateful for this, but want her to know that I am behind her as she is behind me.
I’ll add a second item (light of course) and it is that she is so focused on being a great mom, which she absolutely is, that she never decides to dress it up with some nice clothes and make-up. I have no problem with this, but Tonia should know she can do as she pleases. Lastly, I think she’s addicted to running clothes as I think she is going to run out of color combinations to match up between running skirts, socks, shirts, hats and accessories. (That was three things wasn't it. What happened to following the rules. And in my defense, I wear my running gear like 90% of my day. So I might as well look cute.)
I love you Tonia! (Aw, I love you too!)
Back on task. Here's what my mom had to say about me as a mother:
Tonia’s Greatest Strength as a mom
When asked to write this, I thought how on earth am I going to pick one particular strength of Tonia’s, when there are so many that stand out. Picking one is like finding that pea under your mattress or the needle in the hay stack. We all know that raising a child is one of the most difficult yet rewarding jobs one can have and as parents we need to know how to keep control, as we teach respect, passion and love. My daughter is an amazing teacher of life. She takes pride in herself and her children.
So having said that I now have to pick her greatest strength, and I would without a doubt choose her patience. Tonia has this unlabored talent of keeping her cool at the hottest of moments. Fighting with her children is virtually unheard of, but instead she goes head first into the conversation with a calm non judgmental attitude. Giving her child the opportunity to explain the situation before placing judgment or punishment. She approaches her children and the many moods that children go through with "just another day" attitude. I have always taken pride in the way that I have raised my children, but I can honestly say that Tonia has it hands down over me and its mostly because of her patience.
Her Greatest weakness
This is actually a harder search for my mind. There aren’t many if any weakness I can think of, so I think I will have to go with television…I know lame right, but yes television, her children have an obsession with it. They love watching and learning which is cool, but they also stand not one foot away from it, which drives me insane, and doesn’t for one moment bother Tonia. So is this a weakness? I’m not sure but it sure as hell bothers me. (OK. So my kids watch TV REALLY CLOSE to the TV. But do you know who else watches way too much TV? Me! And do you know who one of the most active and intelligent people I know is? Right. Me. And I'm not tooting my own horn. I have an Ivy League degree. Just saying.)
And finally, G's take on me as a runner:
Before I talk about T’s greatest strengths and weaknesses, I would like to say that I admire her more than any person ever featured on the front of Runners World, Self, or any other magazine. Not only because she looks hot in her running skirt, but also because she is FIERCE and COOL at the same time. T, it’s an honor to be your running mate. Congratulations on another great year of blogging, running and mommy-ing. (Look at her buttering me up ...)
T’s greatest strength as a runner is the strength of her “heart”. Some people mistake this as purely “competitive nature”, but I know what I see on each and every run. Truly, if there is one thing I know about T, it’s that she knows the meaning of DIG DEEP, and if she does that and doesn’t find what she needs, she will just DIG DEEPER. I confess that I have used this against her and when she tells me she has nothing left, I simply push myself to run a half step ahead of her. She never falls behind, she just pushes harder to pass me. Maybe I’m not such a good friend after all, and I probably won’t be invited to run the last mile of a half marathon with her ever again, or write on her blog page again for that matter....
T’s greatest weakness as a runner is hard for me to put into words. Partly because I am T’s cheerleader, biggest fan, and teammate and telling someone their weakness isn’t a good way to keep any of those titles. But, after thinking it over, T, there is something I’ve wanted to say to you for a while, and didn’t know how to express. I’m certain that with patience and time I would find a nice flowery Hallmark card that conveyed this message, but I’m a mom of 3, I don’t go into card stores, so... I will just say it like it is: You’re better at TRAINING than you are at RACING. The training system you follow is a prescribed regimen of dependable, inoffensive, risk-free paced miles designed to ensure that you finish every training run. There is nothing wrong with this, except that isn’t your race style at all. You race like an ex-BMX Junkie with nothing to lose and something to prove. I would know. The day to falter, see spots, and get light headed is NOT on race day, it’s on training day. I believe that this weakness will be your greatest strength when I write this post next year, because you’re going to either learn to race with this same controlled pacing OR you are going to inject some of your race day FEROCITY into your training. Bring it on. (Fine. I can't even dispute that. It's 100% true. Probably would have picked the same thing for myself.)
WOW! I can say nothing but thank you. Thank you for being my support team. Thank you for risking getting me upset by throwing my flaws out there (especially J who has to live in the same house as me.) Just thank you.
And thank you to all of you who listen to my ramblings day after day. And thank you to all of you who chime in with your two cents. And all of you who lurk in the background (you know, you should really speak up. I don't bite and I love to know you're there ...) I hope that you've enjoyed my family's journey as much as I have. We'll do our best to continue to provide you with a fair share of chaos ...