I am currently writing from the airport waiting on my flight to see Aleeza in Seattle! Please be kind to the 100 degree temperatures in my absence, Kansas.
In the meantime, I have a special treat for you. I have been pestering Bridget for quite some time now to write a guest post for my blog. It took all sorts of threatening texts and emails, but she finally caved to my pressure. Joking! Bridget inspires me; she has two babies, is an Air Force wife, goes to school, and runs. People ask me where I find inspiration to run, and she is a prime example. I am aware that a lot of my readers are mothers themselves which is something I can’t relate to yet in my life, so I wanted Bridget to provide with you something I cannot; a story of a running mama. First, photos of her babez because she has adorable offspring:
Hi, my name is Bridget. I am a college student, an Air Force wife of five years to Justin, and a mother to Milo Sage (2 ½ years) and Lucca Daine (9 months).
Running has not been a lifetime thing for me. In fact, I can remember vividly walking the mile run we had to do in junior high. I didn’t even attempt to run, I just figured I couldn’t and would rather save myself the embarrassment.
As it turns out, I’m not half bad. Granted, there is still a lot of work ahead of me, but so far so good.
I’m going to use the next few paragraphs to ROCK YOUR WORLD. Psssh, yeah right. But I do plan on giving a little insight to my running career and how it fits into all aspects of my chaotic life.
Running as a mom of two:
My kids were the whole reason for me to start running. I didn’t want them to ever know the old, fat mama- just one amazing, confidant and FAST mama.
Unfortunately, fitting runs (especially 6+ mile ones) into a life full of schedules and naps and dirty diapers is harder than I ever imagined. I’ve learned to 1) be prepared and 2) go with the flow. The runs with the kids usually take twice as long solely because of prep-work: check diapers, find stroller friendly toys, equip Milo with snacks and a drink, and then say a quick prayer that everyone can keep it together for at least 30 minutes.
The one cool thing about running with the kids? I get MAJOR bad-@$$ points. Sixty pounds worth of stroller and kids- uphill, downhill, dodging other runners and trashcans can get me looks- most of them are of the “You go, Mama” variety. Yes sir or ma’am, I will go! That is until I finish this lap and then I’m going to pass out in that lawn right over there…
Running as an Air Force wife:
Justin’s job requires quite a bit of time away from home. Since August of 2009 he has been deployed four times for a total of 14 months. Not fun stuff, but a fact of military life.
So how does this affect my running? Hmm, that’s a great question, reader! Let me stall here a bit so that I can figure that one out. Cue the music. You mean there’s no music? …This is awkward.
I think that running through deployments is the most cathartic thing out there. I find myself working all those nasty, sad emotions to the top and then brushing them off with the sweat at the end of a workout. Was that poetic or what? Look out, we’re getting real here.
And it’s always nice when Justin gets home and is like, “dang girl, you lookin’ fine!” I’m pretty sure he’d do that anyways, because a soldier gets mighty lonely out there, but I like to think it has something to do with my hard work.
The most important thing I’ve come to realize since I began running is to just be patient. I may not get to finish a five mile run because someone needs a diaper change or is just tired of being in the stroller. Or maybe Justin isn’t home to celebrate with me after a great run with a new PR. And maybe some runs will really super suck. That happens. Luckily, that next one usually tends to be somehow super amazing. I guess what I’m saying is to just trust the process. Someday the kids can run NEXT to me instead of lugging their dead weight, and Justin WILL be home to watch me cross a race’s finish line.
So maybe you’re sitting there, reading this idly and possibly considering taking up running yourself. And maybe you’re in a situation similar to mine: you’re a part-time single mother of little juniors, or lazy (did I not mention that I was lazy? Oh, well I am. Super lazy. So sue me.) And maybe, also like me, you are scared. Good! What, were you looking for something more helpful? Sorry, Charlie. I’m just speaking the truth.
It is perfectly normal to be scared. Scared that you won’t be good enough or scared that people will know this is not a natural position for you. Here’s the BEST part of running: you get to make the rules. If you want to wake up early and hit the pavement before your neighbors see you huffing and puffing down the sidewalk- okay. Or if you want to go run laps until you could literally wring sweat out of your undies on a deserted high school track, go for it. Or if you want to run on a treadmill with the lights off… well I can’t really encourage that one. For the sake of Peter, that is not safe! But for the others, do it. Build up your self-confidence in privacy if that’s what you need to do. Before you know it you’ll be out at Dick’s buying neon pink running shorts in hopes that all your adoring friends and family, and maybe some unknowing bystanders, will be able to spot you in your first race. (Yep, guilty as charged.)
Thank you for writing this Bridget. I love you and you inspire me whether you recognize it or not. Keep doing yo thang girl.