Running Made Me A Better Mom

Has there ever been that one thing that you absolutely hated doing? The thing you had somehow grown to despise and dreaded doing it with all your might? Does that thing cast a shadow on your confidence and make you feel disappointed with yourself?

For me, that thing, was running. I remember in elementary school when we had to run the mile every year in PE class. I dreaded that day like no other!

Running seemed awkward, uncomfortable, monotonous and boring! I always ended up with a horrible side-ache and sore feet. I didn't finish the mile feeling happy, proud or elated. I was irritated that my beloved PE teacher, Mr. Brown put me through that experience. How was running a mile going to prepare me for real life?

Has there ever been that one thing that you absolutely hated doing? The thing you had somehow grown to despise and dreaded doing it with all your might? Does that thing cast a shadow on your confidence and make you feel disappointed with yourself? For me, that thing, was running. I remember in elementary school when we had to run the mile every year in PE class. I dreaded that day like no other!

Now don't get me wrong, I had nothing against exercise or physical activity. I started doing step aerobic videos in 6th grade when my mom got into fitness.

I could follow along with Kathy Smith, Jane Fonda and Tami Lee Webb's Buns of Steel video series with the best of them!! A year later, my mom joined a fitness club and my twin sister and I started going with her and I fell in love with weight lifting. I still avoided the treadmill and the track like the plague, but the weight room was my thing!

In the back of my mind though, I'd glance at that treadmill and think, "Why do I despise you so much?" I'd push that thought away and continue pumping iron. I ended my workout feeling happy, proud and elated!! The exact opposite of the feelings I'd have after my mile run in PE.

Over the next year or so I added the elliptical machine into my workout regimin. That's kind of like running, right? So that's good enough, I decided. I'd sneer at the treadmill beside me as I "ran" a few miles on the elliptical, thinking, "man, I finally can run and not feel awful. Who needs to run, in the true sense of the word, when this amazing piece of equipment lets me off the hook?"

Well, I let my mind trick myself into believing that for a few years, but in my gut I knew I still had a hate for running. Don't ask me why, but it really started to bug me that I hated something that seemed so natural to the human species. Without running, man wouldn't have been able to survive living in the wild. So in a far out kind of way, without running, I wouldn't even be here!

I also started to think about all the people whose bodies wouldn't allow them to run. My grandpa for instance, was in an accident when I was about 14 years old and was paralyzed from the waist down. I began to feel guilty that I had the ability to run, but I refused to do so.

Enough was finally enough! My sister and I decided to start the Couch to 5K running plan and we signed up for our first 5K event. All I can say is, "the rest is history".

My sister and I have now completed 7 half-marathons, 2 obstacle races (including jumping over a fire pit!), 6 off-road trail runs, 2 cross-country relay races, several 5Ks (one in which I got a bronze medal) and even a whole weekend event that included a 5 mile run on Friday night and a half marathon on both Saturday and Sunday mornings.

Completing these races gave me a sense of accomplishment and pride that I never dreamed of experiencing. I loved crossing the finish line and waving to my sons and husband. They knew how hard I worked to get to that level and it was due to their support and encouragement that I didn't give up.

Now my sons are involved in a youth running program and they are getting the working out bug. They know all about P90X and Shaun T.

Knowing that my drive and discipline is rubbing off on them makes me so happy. I feel like my personal achievements and mental battle I've won, have made me an even better mom.

I want you to think of that thing in your life that bothers you and gives you grief. What would it feel like to no longer think of that thing with a negative connotation? What would happen if you faced that hated thing head on and crushed it!? I know!! You would feel AH-mazing!

Every aspect of our lives is intertwined, so helping one area will trickle down to other areas. All it takes is the will to get started. Then you take it baby step, by baby step. Before you know it, you are crossing your own finish line with your loved ones cheering you on!!

Mark it on your calendar that you will begin to overcome your thing on such and such a date and hold yourself accountable. Day by day you are reaching your dreams!

P.S.  I have included the link to Couch to 5K because I can't say enough good things about it.  Check it out here