Like everyone else who juggles their work, parenting and running commitments on a daily basis, I would consider myself fairly busy. For everything to run smoothly, it works best if I’m very well organized and have a strict routine. Unfortunately, my love of spontaneous activities coupled with my belief that I work better on tight deadlines, can sometimes leave me in less than desirable situations. Yesterday morning was one of those instances.
I hadn’t woken up at 5 a.m. to run because I was planning on run-commuting to and from work (4 miles each way). I love being efficient! I did however wake up with enough time to get kids’ breakfasts and lunches ready, eat my own breakfast, help them find their outfits for the day, and fire off a few work emails. Feeling accomplished I sat down and sipped my coffee when I suddenly looked at the clock and realized I only had 15 minutes to get myself showered, a shirt ironed, my outfit and work bag packed and all of us out the door. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem (see my belief in tight deadlines above) – but functioning like this leaves zero room for things to go wrong. They sometimes do.
When I hopped in the shower I realized I’d forgotten to buy shampoo and we were completely out. I scrambled through a drawer and found a sample – one of those single-use packages. As I opened it and tried to pour it out I found it was thick and gooey – more like a paste than a liquid. I thought maybe it just needed water so I smeared it across the top of my head. It did not lather or turn into a liquid. It just clung like wax to my hair in clumps. I had no time to fight with it so I got out and tried to brush it through. Then I realized it was not only thick and waxy – it stunk! I tried to blow-dry (while also ironing my shirt and getting my kids to brush their teeth) but the main top chunk remained stubbornly wet, dense and oily. At this point I had to call it “good enough” as we had to get out the door or we would miss the school bell. I power walked to the school with my kids jogging beside me to keep up (if they ever end up being runners they will thank me for these early years of development training) and hoped my hair would dry slightly on the way. It was then that I realized I’d forgotten a hair elastic.
I ran into work with my thick wad of waxy hair flopping up and down. I usually try to run in slowly so that I don’t get too sweaty and can do a quick change into work clothes to appear professional in minutes. That plan was a write-off, so I ran in quickly and showed up sweaty with a helmet head. I’m not really sure if people noticed. Maybe they were just too polite to say anything. But in the end, I figure I won. I made it to work, got my kids to school on time fed and clothed, and I got 8 miles of running in. Sometimes vanity has to take a back-seat to the more important matters.