I Want My Kids to See Me Run

Morning Run | HappyFitMama.com

Over four years ago, I became a mama.

I can barely remember my life before then. I’m sure it involved a much flexible schedule and more free time. If I wanted to go for a run, I did. I didn’t have to wake up at a super early hour to fit it in. Ron and I didn’t have to schedule our workout time at different parts of the day to make sure someone was home.

But then my world got flipped upside down like a snow globe when my kids were born. My life became more scheduled then ever before and free time became a thing of the past. Gone were the days of running whenever I felt like it. I knew I had to let go of some things from my pre-kids life but running wasn’t going to be one of them. Run­ning needed to stay.

I could have easily forgotten about running with the excuse I didn’t have time. I could have easily given into the “Mommy Guilt” of leaving my kids for 30 minutes, 60 minutes, 90 minutes with Ron so I could go for a run. There have been times when I have skipped a run because of it.

Some may call me selfish. It is in a way. The main reason why I run is for myself and the feelings it gives me. I have to take care of ME before I can take care of others.

But I also run for my kids. Over the years, I’ve come to see how my run­ning ben­e­fits them and am even more grate­ful I have it in my life.

I want them to know that I am a runner.

I want them to know that running is way more than just running. It’s taught me so many life lessons already.

I want them to know that the simple act of running, has changed me, for the better, in more ways than one.

Wallis Sands 12 marathon 2014 after  happyfitmama.com

What running has given me:

Confidence

For most of my life, I have not been a confident person. There was always a flaw to pick at or something I wasn’t good enough to do. Then I started running more in my 30s. I wasn’t winning races. I wasn’t the fastest. But I felt a shift in the way I held myself. I spoke up more. I stood taller. I didn’t try to blend. I would take super sweaty selfies post run with no make up on and hair drenched but feel more beautiful than ever. I’m sure getting older helped a bit but I think running helped boost me up just as much. Setting goals, working hard towards them and meeting them helped me see that I can do big things. I hope my kids see that they can do big things too.

Patience

If you know me, you know that I am not the most patient person. I think I’m much better than I was 10 years ago. It’s a work in progress for sure. And off course, motherhood tests my patience every minute of the day practically. But with running, for the most part, it’s a gradual build up. It took time to be able to run 1 mile straight without stopping. It takes time to build up speed. I have to be patient and allow my body to adapt and grow over weeks, months.

Commitment

The Mommy Guilt pops up quite a bit when I’m training for a race especially with marathon training. It’s even there when I’m running a race. It’s a lot of time away from Ron and the kids. But I’m hoping my kids will see that I’m committing myself to a goal. Commitment takes time, consistency, effort and dedication. If you want it, you need to commit.

Fun

To me running is fun. Of course it’s not rainbows and unicorns all the time. I have bad runs. I have crappy races. I want my kids to see that being active, whether in running or another sport, is a fun way to be outside, connect with friends all while keeping your body healthy. I don’t want them to think of exercise as something they HAVE to do but something they get to do.

Balance

At one time I thought I could achieve balance with all aspects of my life – blogging, my job, marriage, kids, friends and daily tasks of living. But then I realized there really is no balance in life. It’s more of a coexistence that consistently needs tweaking. For me, getting up at zero dark thirty to run keeps me balanced mentally. I’m healthy, happy, and sane after a run, which makes me a bet­ter mother, wife, coworker, friend, every­thing.I bal­ance my life in a way that allows me to run and run­ning helps me find bal­ance within my life.

Enthusiasm

Running gets me excited. I love to talk about it, write about it, dream about it. I have never felt so much enthusiasm for a sport in my whole life. I love everything about it. I want my kids to have the same enthusiasm for something, ANYTHING, in their lives.

My kids may never be runners. That’s ok. But I want them to see me run and what I put into it.

Hopefully, that will spark something inside of them to find their own passion in life, whatever that may be.

What has running done for you?

49 comments on “I Want My Kids to See Me Run

  1. I echo your reasons almost exactly!!! I consider myself a self-made running. I played sports growing uo, but a runner I was not. Late 2009…one year post divorce, I started running just to do something. Fast forward to 2012, I started counting calories, started losing weight…and kept running. Suddenly I was no longer running “just because”…I was running because it made me feel amazing (inside…and out). I run to be a better mother to my son!

  2. Oh I absolutely love this Angela and I can relate to many of the things that running has given you, especially patience and self-confidence. I do think that it’s really important for our kids to see us as individuals who have passions and interests outside of just being a parent. And it always makes my heart swell a little when my kids either want to run or do yoga with me or they notice how hard I work at these things. Such a great post!
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  3. It is definitely a challenge to take time for yourself after having kids or even to find the time, but I think it is really important! I know I am a better mom, wife, friend, etc when I take the time to run and there are times when I feel guilty, but I know it is important for me and for the example I am providing.
    Beth @ RUNNING around my kitchen recently posted..Life lately: July recapMy Profile

  4. Great post. I too not only run for myself but for the kids too. I’m a nurse and have been taking care of people my whole life. Sometimes it feels like I take care of everyone else except myself. Running helps take care of me. It is so important to me to teach my boys the values of healthy living and showing them that they can push themselves to try to achieve goals that they may never think they could. I want them to be proud to call me their mom. Running just makes me a better all around person!
    Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes recently posted..Hill Workouts Part 2: HOW to run Hill RepeatsMy Profile

    1. I always think of the pre-flight instructions – in the event of an emergency put your oxygen mask on first before assisting others. It’s so true in all aspects of life. You need to be healthy to take care of others!

  5. Those are all great examples of how running can make us all better moms. I think it’s really important for my kids to see me set a goal and not always achieve it and see that I get back up and do it again. They are proud of me and that makes me happy. Great post
    Deborah recently posted..Surfing in DC?!My Profile

  6. I agree with every single thing you said!!! I never even got a running stroller because when the boys were little running was my time alone (even if it was on the treadmill).
    I have no doubt that your kids will want to follow in your footsteps and run – and it will be one of your proudest moments – I know it has been for me!!!
    Kim recently posted..Some Tough DecisionsMy Profile

  7. I love that you address the mommy-guilt thing. I love working out and am, at the same time, expecting our first baby any day now. I can’t wait to get back to exercising after I’m all healed up, but I’ve been told over and over again about this mommy-guilt thing, which must be real. I too want to have an active family with kiddos who see me working out, so I’m hoping I can look at my working out as beneficial, not as something to feel guilty about.

    1. It can be hard especially when the child is young. You want to spend so much time soaking in that little baby. You don’t want to miss a thing! Plus, no one knows how to do it exactly just like mom!

  8. I love this so very much. I’m not a mom, but my sister is. She’s not a runner but she has always worked out from the time her babies were born. They have grown up knowing that she had that time carved out for herself, for her workouts. She’s had people make comments of course, but in the grand scheme of things, she’s teaching her children about the importance of being healthy too. Wonderful post!

    1. The benefits of running are universal – whether you have kids or not. It changes you physically and mentally for the better. Thanks Heather!

  9. This might be my favorite among your blog posts… perhaps because I’ve found these same truths — especially the thing about so-called “balance.” 🙂 Thanks for posting this excellent reminder!

  10. Well, it completely changed my life.. and I blog about it too. This was a great story, thanks for sharing. I want my grand daughter to see me run, too. 😉

  11. I couldn’t agree with you more! I want my son to know what making a commitment means and where hard work will get you. Running has also brought to me a whole new plethora of friends! Great friends! I used to be quite shy and had a small circle of people I knew. Running has given me the confidence to branch out and become a social butterfly!
    Jolene @ Southern Fried Soul recently posted..Vega Sport Pre-Workout Energizer #fuelyourbetter ReviewMy Profile

  12. I remember my mom ALWAYS working out when I was younger. We have always had big exercise rooms in our houses!! 🙂 She definitely instilled positive images in my brain in terms of living a healthy, exercise-filled life. And we were always put in activities after school, etc. I even went to school for snowboarding! It’s utterly important to provide your children with an excellent example!
    GiGi Eats recently posted..What The Fudge?My Profile

  13. 100% everything you said. For me being active has given me more energy for my kids and has made fitness a part of our everyday lives. It isn’t do as I say, not as I do…it’s do as I do! Whether they turn out to be runners or triathletes isn’t the point. The point is they will grow up with fitness and healthy habits. It always amazed me how much strength and endurance it took to keep up with my kids. I often say I train so I can keep up with my family!
    Tara Newman recently posted..Sherpa Wife Chronicles: Ironman Lake Placid 2014My Profile

  14. I agree! For me, running has given me confidence. When I started running 13 years ago, (boy that makes me feel old!), I couldn’t even run a mile. Sometimes I forget that! I am slowly figuring out that it is important for my daughters to see me enjoy life and pursue dreams!
    Amanda recently posted..Menu plan – 8/3/2014My Profile

  15. My parents are not active and were not growing up, so it’s important to me that my child grows up seeing my husband and I being active. She’s only 1 and she already enjoys going on stroller runs, and watching us run. While a little part of my hear would flutter if she became a runner (recreational or competitively) it doesn’t matter to me if she wants to dance or play volleyball instead. As long as she is healthy and active and enjoys doing it.

    I think running has certainly helped with my confidence, it’s amazing what your body can do when you put in the effort and try. It’s also allowed me to meet some pretty cool people and see some great places.

  16. Such a great post! I too feel guilty for the amount of time running takes (especially marathon training) but I’m honestly the person I am today because of running and if I were to eliminate it from my life I would eliminate a great source of confidence, discipline, relaxation and the place where I am most mindful and aware. I need that start to my day. Without it I am a nutcase…more of a nutcase than I already am! haha.
    Sarah @runfargirl recently posted..Dr. Cool Wraps Review and Sweepstakes for a Giveaway-2 Winners!My Profile

  17. Oh, this was beautiful. As my son gets older the mama guilt gets harder – seeing his face crinkle and , “No mama! Don’t go for a run!” kills me. But the swollen heart feeling when he puts on one of my headbands or races around like a madman yelling, “Go mama go! I run like mama too!” is a bigger high than the mama guilt low.
    Carly @ Fine Fit Day recently posted..Scenes from a weekend #36My Profile

  18. Confidence, sanity, perseverence…running has given me all of these things. My boys know I run–I’ve been running since before I had them. They’re teenagers and even tho they are giving me a run for my money (pun intended), they were both pretty excited when I told them I signed up for my second marathon this fall. My youngest plays football, but he’s a fast runner, and the coaches tell him he’s a natural. Hmm….
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted..Mom versus the MarathonMy Profile

  19. There is no doubt that my kids know I run.
    My son will ask “you going running’, it’s very cute.
    The best part is they will always ask me to run with them when it comes to run club. I normally run with Miles so I can monitor his Asthma, but the other day I got to run with my daughter, and she was such a champ, she even ended up coming first.
    Running has influenced our family in good ways, and I wouldn’t change it.
    Matilda recently posted..5 Lessons Learned from the Long RunMy Profile

  20. Great post! I consider “balance” to be the act of not falling off the tightrope of my life. If I still have a family who loves me, a job, and some time for me then I must be living a balanced life;-)
    I get so much more from working out than just the physical. I am definitely a better mom when I’ve gotten a good sweat on! Plus, as the mother of a daughter especially, I find it so important to model exercise as a stress reliever, a way to be strong and healthy rather than to be thin! Going to the gym or for a run is just a part of our everyday, like brushing our teeth or combing our hair.
    Kristen recently posted..August Ultimate Coffee DateMy Profile

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  22. I love this post and couldn’t agree with you more. When I had my first daughter (4 years ago) I had the mommy-guilt but kept running when I could. I knew after our second child (another girl) that I was wanting to run and train more. Every time I run, whether it’s training or a race I want my girls to know what I am doing so they see the value in being physical active. I want them to see all the runners/bikers/swimmers etc – in every shape and size and see that anyone can be active. I run for me, to be a better mother, to keep me sane and to be a role model for my girls.
    Anna @ PipersRun recently posted..A Shore Thing 10k Race RecapMy Profile

  23. I really appreciate this post and admire that you are able to carve out time to run. I massively struggle with Mummy guilt and being able to fit it in. I love your take on balance, so true! It really is wonderful for your kids to see you achieving, committing, having fun aand all those other wonderful things that come with running.
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