The last time I ran, it was my escape. I ran because it helped me physically run away from a life that I hated. For that 30-60 minutes a day, I could pretend my life was something that it wasn’t. I could dream. I could pray. I could simply be.
I haven’t run since. There was once, after E was born, when I thought “Hey, maybe I’ll start running again…I could run with the stroller.” But I wasn’t ever really committed to it, so it didn’t last long. I could always come up with a thousand excuses as to why I couldn’t do it. It was too hot outside. The kids would scream and it wouldn’t end up being a very good workout anyway. I was tired. I didn’t sleep well. It was too cold outside. The list goes on and on and on.
But last week I bought new running shoes. And today I laced them up and headed out the door as soon as the hubs got home from work. I am committed to running again. But it’s so different this time around. This time … I’m running so that I can dream … not about how to get out of the life I’m living, but about all the many things this life has given me – and all the many more to come.
I’m running because my dear friend is running a 5K in November in celebration of her “cancerversary” … and I promised her I’d be there to run alongside her. She’s been running throughout her chemotherapy treatment, so I’m sure she’ll leave me in the dust, but a promise is a promise …. and I will meet her at the finish line!
I’m running because I’m about 20 pounds over what I would consider to be my “ideal” body weight. I’m not ashamed of that … I’ve had two babies – I’ve given them my life for the last 5 years … and I couldn’t be more proud of that. I’m proud of my curves that allowed me to carry two babies through full-term pregnancies. Proud of the flabby tummy that had to be cut open twice to get those babies out. Proud of the somewhat saggy breasts that made milk that helped both my babies develop and grow in their earliest years. But I won’t lie when I say I’d like to be a little thinner. I’d like to fit into the clothes that I own, as opposed to buying new ones. When I ran before, I looked (& felt) better than I ever had. I’m striving to look and feel great again.
I’m running because exercise does great things for our bodies. It helps our muscles get stronger. It helps the stress of our lives disappear – or at least helps us cope with it a little bit better. It helps us feel good about who we are, and how we are taking care of ourselves.
I’m running because … let’s be real for a second … the shoes are damn cute. I got them on sale – and they are like walking on clouds. I’ll run miles just to wear them a little longer.
I’m running because I live in the Boston area. And runners abound. And it makes me feel like I belong here – if even just for a moment.
But perhaps most importantly … I’m running because it’s an easy way to take care of myself. It fuels my creativity. It gives me some much-needed introvert time alone – where no one can ask me for anything, I don’t have to clean up after anyone, or worry about what they are doing. I can walk out the door, across the street, and just run. And when I come back, I’m a much better mama, a much better wife, and a much better person.
I’m not a huge fan of “New Year’s Resolutions” because I think you can make a change any time of your life – not just in January. So today … on August 1 … I’m putting that theory into action. I’m making a change.
Here’s to a healthier, happier, more reflective life.