Toddlers thrive on routine! It warms my heart that my daughter enjoys my running. When my 2-year old sees me in my running gear she says with a smile – every time, without exception – “You go running? You come back, right?” Then I smile, tell her that I’ll always come back, and she says: “Okay Bye! Love you too!” And upon returning, she says excitedly: “You back! You wet, right?” (Not a fan of sweaty hugs, I guess…)
Being an example for my girls is my MOST important job. For the most part, children admire and adore their parents. Sometimes, heartbreakingly so. (Abused children, absent parents etc.) Often, it doesn’t matter how much you mess up, your kids will still think you are the world’s best mom! So to me, that means I need to step up and try harder. Little eyes are always watching.
I run for me. I run because it makes me feel good and strong. I run because I can get out of the house and listen to an audiobook. I run because I love being in nature. I run because I never ran before 2015, and ever since I tied up my runners three years ago, I can’t wait to beat my own personal best. So yes, I do run for me.
But I also run for them. I run because I want to teach them that it’s okay to pursue a hobby that doesn’t include anybody else. I want them to see that women can be strong and fast and ambitious. I run because it teaches them from an early age that making time in the day for exercise is totally routine and normal. I run because I want to grow old for my kids, and running keeps me healthier and lowers my risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease by 45%.
Running makes me happy. I’m not even particularly good or fast or strong. But I feel great about what my (mostly tired, kinda flabby) body can achieve. And when I come home, I have two little humans who will grow up to know that they too can achieve anything. Running might not be YOUR happy place but find it. Find it in music, dancing, biking, fitness classes, swimming, yoga or all of the above. But FIND it. And hold on to it.