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.
What running has given me:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?