The alarm went off at 4:15am this morning. Ugh.


My coffee was brewing (love the timer function) and I couldn’t wait to get a sip. But I dreaded what came next, waking up my teenagers.


Football started last Wednesday and they got in two days, then flew out Thursday afternoon for Utah for a rugby tournament. They had rugby practice that evening, then two full days of rugby Friday and Saturday. Sunday’s flight out was at 5 something in the morning so needless to say they were WIPED when I picked them up a few hours later. On top of that, one of my boys is taking a math class this summer and had to meet with the tutor in the afternoon. I didn’t even feel like driving there, I can’t imagine what he felt like working through math for over an hour.


Even getting to bed at a decent time last night, we knew the boys would be exhausted this morning. And there’s just something really sucky about waking up BEFORE 5am…


Push or protect?


That was the battle in my mind all morning. I have faced this battle a lot on my own – through marathons, Spartan races, even studying for the bar exam. Do I push harder or do I let up and protect? When my body is SCREAMING at me to stop, do I listen, or do I push through?


Everything in me, as a mother, wanted to protect my boys. To let them have one down day. To let their minds and bodies heal.


Everything in me, as an athlete, wanted to push. I went to the football meeting with our new head coach on Saturday. I heard his vision for the team. I know that he is about building up our young men, not enabling our little boys. He pointed out what I have come to understand – success does not come from having the best ACT scores, GPA or athleticism. It comes from GRIT. From pushing through when it’s hard. From getting outside our comfort zone. From digging deep and really seeing what we are made of. And even when we don’t want to do any of that, we show up for our teammates.


After I dropped the boys at school, I came home and pushed through my workout. It was hard. I was tired. No one would’ve known if I didn’t do it. But if I can expect hard things from my boys and push them a little harder, than I can show up too.


Push or protect?


I watch my friends with young babies struggling through the physical challenges of potty training, sleep deprivation, etc. One asked, “Is it always this hard?” The answer is yes, just different. It’s not as physical when your kids can feed and dress themselves, do their own homework, etc., but the parenting decisions are more complicated.


Push or protect??


Hang in there moms and dads! Your kids need you! The culture is out there speaking into them every day. It’s offering them different solutions. But they need to hear from you. Sometimes we have to push when we just want to protect.


So just like I would tell you about exercise, show up today. Get in the game. Make the hard decisions.


Your kids are worth it.