May 28, 2013
On Saturday I went for my first long run since Indy was born. Five miles along the Monterey Bay coastline, I even took on the crazy switchback hill without slowing down. On the drive home I felt amazing, and all kinds reasons why all moms should run kept popping into my head.
So.... Why I think moms should run:
- Even if you work outside the home you need to exist somewhere that is not home, work, or the places between them... and I've been there... I know that's your life. If you stay home you need an escape that is not the bathroom... if that even counts when little arms are reaching under the door. You need to be in the world, outside, in the scenery, a part in a happy moving community along the rec trail.
- It's a mini adventure if you do it right. I hate when people list all the things they want to accomplish before they have kids, as if life ends with childbirth. It's a self fulfilling prophecy. Stop that. Once a week I go run someplace different. I don't just step out my front door and weave through the streets I know too well, I get in the car and pick a beach, a trail, or I even just drive 10 minutes to another neighborhood... it's different and it's enough of an adventure for me. Escape a loose dog or aggressive sea lion... bonus adventure!
- When was the last time you spent your Saturday morning driving home kinda sweaty and totally spent? Thought those days were done huh? They don't have to be. And no hangover!
- Running is a mental challenge, and after singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star 20,000 times last week, you could use a mental challenge. Tons of people say they can't run, they'd die... six miles are you INSANE? That's all in your head. I swear. Have you SEEN me? I have no business lacing up my Brooks and acting like I can do anything more athletic than rolling down a hill. But I got it in my head that I was gonna be a runner. Half a mile in I want to quit... every. single. time. And at a mile, and two and three but the somewhere between those miles you get to be in awe of what you are doing. How often do you get to be in awe of you?
- There comes a time when you have to stop seeing your body for what it looks like and see it for what it can do. When I'm taking on a gnarly hill the last thing I'm thinking about is the dermatitis on my arms or the loose skin on my tummy. Really. It all becomes about muscles and breathing and going just a little farther or a little faster and whatever the scale says at home doesn't matter because look at what you just did! You get to obsess over your body in a totally new kind of way.
- Food tastes better after a run. True story.
- I love to read, but in this home picking up a book is a signal for Ash to suddenly scream like his limbs are being removed from the backyard, or for Milo to climb into my lap and demand Row Row Row Your Boat til I forget what day it is, or for everyone to suddenly be starving. Books don't happen here. So how did I get through all of the Hunger Games or keep caught up on my favorite podcasts? Running.
- Moms should have at least one non-motherhood related community to be apart of, and the running community is an amazing one to join. I love my kids and getting them together with other kids, but lets face it, play groups aren't always the best for mom's self esteem... at least not mine. Between the mompeditors and gossip, there's usually a landmine or two ready to be stepped on when you get a group of moms together... and without fail I'll find each and every one of them. But when you join up with a group of runners there's no kids to judge you by and I've personally only found other runners encouraging and welcoming, even if I can't quite keep up! You can join training groups to benefit a cause or ask around about casual group of runners that just love hitting the trail with company.
- If running for yourself doesn't appeal to you, run for your kids. This is not a guilt thing, it's just an information thing. Working your cardiovascular system is so important to leading a long and healthy life. No matter how many door slams or "I hate you's" you endure, I guarantee your kids want you there to see them get married and have babies and you want to be there when they figure out you were right all along. You need to work your heart if you want it to stay healthy. Running also benefits your bones, joints, blood pressure and runners are less likely to get many types of cancers. I like studies and numbers... and the numbers show that runners live longer, and that's more time with my kids. Of course not everyone likes or can running, there are many other ways to get active with similar benefits.
- Because I need someone to run with. So... consider it.