Mom gets up in the morning, gets dressed, unloads the dishwasher, starts a load of laundry, brings the trashcans around the side of the house, starts to cook breakfast, get the kids dressed, packs a lunch for the pool and makes a pot of coffee.
I have ... brushed my teeth.
Mom whips up banana bread, reads the newspaper, decides to try out a new recipe for dinner, prepares a grocery list, re-pots our basil plant, sorts through children's clothes, folds and puts away a load of laundry, and dusts all the wood furniture in the house.
I have ... taken a conference call and eaten half a bagel.
A bagel that mom toasted for me and topped with cream cheese.
It seems I'm standing still and mom is buzzing all around me. She'll have 10 projects going at once and there I am - looking at the vacuum and trying to remember how it works. I am so distracted by her hyper-efficiency that today, I didn't even realize that I was still wearing my pajama bottoms until 3 PM. My groove is all in a funk.
Mom takes a nap every afternoon and is in bed asleep every night by 9:00, but not me.
My magic hours are those between 9 PM and 1 AM when I clean the house, eat banana muffins and update my blog. Although, what I should be doing are all the chores that I normally complete first thing in the morning. I don't know how mom would react if there was nothing for her to do. I'm afraid she might try to sweep out our chimney. Or worse yet, rotate the tires on the minivan.
But there's one more thing my mom can do, that I could never do.
Today, while she was resting on the couch, I read her all of the awesome "Challenge Yourself" entries ... and she was able to pick out a winner for the iPod shuffle. This was no easy task because there were so many inspiring entries that if mom wasn't here reminding me of the four college educations I need to fund - I would have shelled out a small fortune on iPods for Kathy and Ichan and Mama DB and Courtney All Things BD and Christine and Boston Sherill and Wendster and Mariah and Mindy and Jenn and Lori and Erica and Mystik and yes, you too.
But alas, there is only one. And the winner is: SANDRA!
Here's her story:
"When you first issued your fitness challenge, my 39th birthday was looming, and I was feeling fat and old and tired. Keeping up with my full time job and my two kids was wearing me out. I was exhausted by 5pm every day. So, I finally started the couch to 5K program that I had been thinking about doing for months.
The couch to 5K program has you start very slowly: warm up by walking 5 minutes, run for 1 minute and then walk for 2 for a total of 20 minutes. At first, doing this made me feel like I was going to have a heart attack! I was so incredibly out of shape! But now, a short 2 months later, I have joined a local USAfit group, and I am training to run a half marathon in January. I run 4 times a week, and I cannot believe I am saying this, but LAST SATURDAY I RAN 6 MILES!!!! I have never exercised before, and 2 months ago if you googled "couch potato" my picture would have come up! But I feel so much more energetic, and I am thrilled at my ability to do this. I never thought I could. Granted, I am only running at a 14 minute a mile pace, but I am sure I will be able to speed up with time.
So to those of you who are wavering, I promise you, if I can do this at almost 40, 30 lbs overweight, and never having exercised, so can you!"
Way to go, Sandra!! Please send me an e-mail with your contact information and I will get your new iPod shuffle off to you.
And for everyone else, keep up the great work. Even though your own success will be reward enough, there will be more fun prizes to follow.
Up for us next ... Charlie is competing in another sprint distance triathlon in early October and I am competing in an all-women's sprint distance triathlon to benefit ovarian cancer in mid-October. Currently, I'm strategizing how to increase my endurance. Something tells me that if I can keep up with my mother during the day, I should be all set.