How Being A Runner Makes Me A Better Mom

As mothers, our superpower is being able to juggle as many different things life throws at us at any given moment while somehow holding down the fort and caring about the little ones with meticulous detail. We perfect the art of the multitasking. That means doing ordinary things like cooking dinner while talking on the phone while putting the laundry in—all while walking around with a toddler breastfeeding.

We rise early to hungry cries and stay up late because it’s the only hour we really have to ourselves when they are asleep. We schedule our days around their routines and pretty much spend the entire day feeding them meals and snacks with a break in between for learning, laughing, playing and teaching. And if running after them isn’t workout in itself, we manage to get our “real” workouts in as well.

We are running mamas and we are strong.

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It didn’t happen for me overnight post-baby, but I have built myself back up and advanced in my running in ways I didn’t know I could. I feel lighter on my feet, faster, stronger, have better endurance, and can go the distance.

I run for me.

I run because it makes me feel good both physically and mentally. It allows me to destress, and have some me time. I know I can do anything because of what I have learned about myself when running.

I run for my son.

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To one day show him that he can do anything he sets his mind to. To lead by example that we should strive to live a healthy and active lifestyle.

And while running with a stroller is tough at first (trust me, it becomes second nature after awhile), there is no-one else I would want there while I cross a finish line.

Being a runner and being a mom has many similarities. Both roles know what it’s like to rise and grind early; lacing up to get that run in, or shuffling out to get the kids dressed, fed and ready for whatever that day calls for.

Both roles require patience. Not every run is going to feel good or be fast or be easy. Remember tomorrow is a new day and things will get better. While motherhood is rewarding, not every second of raising a tiny human you are responsible for is easy. They sometimes aren’t easy. Sometimes they throw fits, or toys or remotes—at you. Sometimes they bite or scream and cry non-stop.

Runners know sacrifice. When they can’t go for drinks or eat that bad meal. Mamas know this as well. Especially when it comes to the nine months alcohol-free.

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Being a runner mom helps me a better runner and a better mom. I have increased endurance and am more fit because of pushing a stroller with some runs. I am a better mom because running provides that outlet for me to de-stress, feel good about myself, and focus on myself for a change—giving me another sense of identity besides just being a mom. It allows me to make my health a priority so that I can be well and be able to run after my little guy for many years to come.

Runners are active, and moms to boys need to keep up.

Runners know how to breathe, and moms need to woosah every so often. Runners put themselves first, and moms put themselves last—so what a great balance.

Runners explore, and moms want to make memories. Combine both together and this means check out new parks or trails or dare I even say states when it comes to traveling for races.

Running helps mold me into the strong minded and bodied woman I am today. The body that carried and delivered my greatest achievement yet, my son. What a beautiful life I am blessed to live. And while these arms will always hold my little boy, these legs will take us everywhere together.

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This blog post was inspired by a comment that touched me from a thread of my running group’s Facebook page. Our coach posted a photo of this mom looking so badass and happy while running with a stroller.

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A fellow running mom commented, “ I feel like this is me. And then I see Lauren Keating plowing through 5ks faster than me and pushing her son 😀 you rock Lauren!”

I don’t share this to gloat or a showoff, but rather to humbly say how great it felt to be acknowledged for putting in my hard work and sticking to my running goals. And not letting being a mom stop me. I so often bring my son along because there is no one to watch him. There is no turning off my mom role.  Instead, I incorporate my two worlds.

This comment at first took me by surprise because running with a stroller has become my new norm, and I didn’t think I was doing anything inspiring. I am not the fastest or best runner out there. I certainly am not the first to run with a stroller or do that fast either. There are plenty of moms and dads who pass me at races. There are plenty who pass me pushing a double stroller. So the picture applies very much so to me as well.

But I mention it to show that we might not know it, but we could be someone’s motivation. A “slow” runner is better than those sitting on the couch. And if me pushing my son helps someone else to in heir journey, I will gladly continue to do so. I am honored to be a positive presence around others I come across on my paths. And I hope that my son can one day look back and be proud to call me his (runner) mom.

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