I used to be a big runner. Nothing hard core and certainly not Kelcey Carlson-fast.
Just someone who ran each and every day of every week. I ran 5Ks, half marathons and a full marathon (my first and last!). I loved it. I really did. Running that full marathon still ranks as one of my proudest accomplishments.
But something happened along the way in this whole motherhood thing. Or should I say, somehow I got lost along the way? After I had Will, I took him out for stroller walks and stroller jogs, several miles at a clip. Then, once I went back to work, it all kind of fell by the wayside. I'm not sure how it really happened. Or perhaps, I do. I'm busy and I'm tired. And in my spare time, I'm either traipsing off to the library or heading to Will's soccer class or going to the grocery store, etc. You know the deal. I've kind of let life get in the way.
Here's the thing though. I miss it. Yes, I miss running. Even before Will came along, running was always "my" time. It was the point in my day where I would shed all the things that weighed me down and I would just run. My favorite time to run was during the rain. There's something very cleansing and exhilarating about that.
Running makes me feel strong and energized. And honestly, I always felt like it was the one thing I could do. Sure, I can do plenty of things, but with running, I knew I could set out a goal and achieve it. I could say to myself that I was going to run five miles or seven or 10 and I would do it. It felt good to have that goal and that knowledge that I had accomplished it.
In the last year or so, I've started running again. Just on my days off and just small distances and mainly on the treadmill. I still look at some of my friends with children and am simply in awe that they find time to run several days a week. My goal now is to get back to a little "me" time with more running. I think the key is to get myself organized and get up early in the mornings and just do it.
I think running - or any kind of physical activity - is good. As moms, we can set a good example for our children of what it means to live a healthy life.
Seriously, I think Will is Raleigh's own Forest Gump. The boy loves to run. He runs to the table, around the house in circles, to the car and anywhere there is enough space to stretch out his little legs. He told me the other day that he wants to run in a kids' race.
So, maybe he will be my motivation to really get back in the race. I can't have a 5-year-old beating me now, can I?!
Julia is a reporter for WRAL-TV and the mother of a preschooler. She writes for Go Ask Mom monthly.
This is the latest post in our Runner Moms series.