Athletics, Motherhood and Other SuperFantastic Subjects

It Will Be an Adventure

I came home with a small rip on my wrist from doing muscle-ups. My son thinks any kind of bump, scrape or bruise deserves thorough acknowledgement (as he would of course want for his own injuries).   After inspection he remarked, “maybe you should stop doing CrossFit.” His comment made me think about my mother. My mother spent over thirty years working the night shift as a sorter machine operator at a bank. That means she stood on her feet all night, and with her hands she ran the machine and moved paper checks into various pockets of the machine. All night long. For thirty years. As a kid I remember her almost constantly, for years on end, having cuts and split skin on her hands and fingers. (That’s where I learned to use Bag Balm on my hands, which is a great trick, by the way). Meanwhile during the day she ALWAYS had a second job, yet somehow she managed to support all of my sister’s and my athletic pursuits. In 15 years she missed only one of my gymnastics meets. One. And that was because she was singing in my aunt’s wedding. She is what drove me to obtain a college degree and a Master’s degree, even though she had the advantage of neither.

I don’t mind for one second spending hours upon hours in the gym. I don’t mind physical discomforts. I spent my entire childhood watching a woman bust her ass to survive while her passions, other than raising her children, fell to the wayside. She was happy being a mother, but the world lost a wonderful artist and musician.  So no buddy, mommy’s not ever going to quit.




“Yes, Mother.  I can see you are flawed.  You have not hidden it.  That is your greatest gift to me.” – Alice Walker


12 responses

  1. Shauniece Morris

    Well written Elisabeth. Thanks for sharing.

    May 6, 2014 at 7:33 pm

  2. Your a writer disguised as a world class CrossFit athlete.

    May 6, 2014 at 7:50 pm

  3. Elesia Norris

    Thanks for sharing ..and for keeping it REAL!!!

    May 6, 2014 at 8:24 pm

  4. Diva Richards


    May 7, 2014 at 3:07 am

  5. Johnathan Keys

    This i sbrilliant, and I think representative of some of our own family dynamics. My mother did have her bachelors and masters, but she strived for those to make things easier for my brother and I. Divorcing one husband and losing another to illness, she never complained and always put my brother and I first, and I will never be able to thank her enough. Your mother is an amazing woman, and I am sure she raised her daughters to be amazing as well.

    May 7, 2014 at 4:48 am

  6. Lori Wangerin

    Betsy, such a nice tribute to your Mother. We will be seeing you on Friday.

    May 7, 2014 at 11:26 am

  7. Beautiful.

    May 7, 2014 at 8:38 pm

  8. so beautiful. my mother cleaned houses until i was old enough for school, and then she went to school night school to get her nursing degree. her hands were always cracked and dry from the gloves and constant washing, reading this reminded me how hard she worked – may you have more wonderful memories this mother’s day weekend!

    May 8, 2014 at 2:37 pm

  9. Thank you. And Happy Mother’s Day to you! I get defeated being a single mom and trying to figure it all out and I appreciate your success because you’re one of the few athletes who get it. Thank you for your hard work and always reminding me that it can be done.

    May 11, 2014 at 6:04 am

  10. Derrick

    Great post, moms do not get enough credit. Thanks for sharing this post.

    May 12, 2014 at 5:31 am

  11. Nadege F

    Beautifully said.

    May 12, 2014 at 9:16 am

  12. Des

    I feel very similar about my mother who passed away when I was still in my early 20s. That woman had 2 or 3 jobs, and still spent so much energy support us in our endeavors. na

    Congrats on a great regionals.

    May 25, 2014 at 8:58 pm

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