One of the things veteran parents like to tell expectant parents is that having a kid changes everything. But until you actually have a child, you don't really realize they meant EVERYTHING.
Yesterday, while out on a long run with my foul-weather running buddy (the one person I seem to be able to count on to meet for miles even when it's raining... or snowing...), and she regaled me with a tale of a child-less bride who pitched a fit about a bridesmaid bringing her newborn baby along during the wedding weekend. Because... can't you just leave a 6 week old with a sitter for two days?
(I cannot wait until bridezilla has a child of her own...)
I could fill a ream of paper, in tiny print, with hundreds of examples - big and small - of ways in which kids change your life.
Some change are wonderful. (Toddler laughter is the BEST THING IN THE WORLD.)
Some are annoying. (6:45am is now "sleeping in.")
Some just are. (Playgrounds are my new cross-training gym.)
And some changes are more unexpected than others. Sure plenty of parents go back to running and racing. I know lots of mamas who ran halfs or marathons while pregnant, just after giving birth, and have logged many, MANY training miles pushing jogging strollers.
So the biggest surprise for me, personally, is that I have completely lost my interest in the starting line. Maybe it will return some day. I'd be surprised if it didn't. I used to live for race mornings! But now I'd rather push a jogging stroller along the waterfront, stop for a coffee, and wrap up at the playground.
My miles now are for fitness and for fun. There are no track workouts. There is only play.
And while that change surprises me, it's not one I'm worried about.