Before I launch into this let me just say that running, like parenting, seems to be a very personal thing. What works for me, may not work for you. What works for you, may not work for me. And that’s okay, people.
I think that bears repeating …
What works for me, may not work for you. What works for you, may not work for me. And that’s.O.K.
So what I am going to say that requires a bold-type, italicized, centered disclaimer?
I hate running with my kid. I hate it. It’s terrible, and if I have to choose between running with Alli or not running at all, you will definitely find me cozied up on my couch, watching TV, and NOT pushing a stroller around the track. I hate it that much.
Please don’t bother telling me about the latest greatest jogging stroller. They’re so light! They’re so easy to push! The newer models turn on a dime!
During my first summer of running, I bought this guy; I still hated running with my kid.
I don’t want to hear about the great resistance workout you get from pushing a stroller either. My stroller is uber-light, but I still get a great little EXTRA workout when I’m pushing Little Fu-fu.
I don’t care.
And PLEASE don’t tell me how much your little one just loves running with you. Little Jo-jo loves to ride in her stroller! Little Johnny falls asleep as soon as I strap him in!
Have you gotten the gist yet? I just don’t care. I hate running with my kid.
See, here’s the deal. I’m a mom. Almost everything I do from the time I wake up to the time I go to sleep is for, is about, relates-back-to, or otherwise involves my kids. I wake up and make lunches for my kids. I constantly play dolls, check homework, and buy new shoes for my kids. I do laundry … I wash dishes … I make dinners … for my kids. I play Taxi Cab driver to what I feel is an extreme … FOR MY KIDS. Don’t get me wrong! I love my kids, and I love doing all those things for them! I wouldn’t have it any other way!
And I used to run with Alli in that big, expensive Bumbleride stroller. It took an extra thirty minutes to gather all her toys, snacks, and milk and another fifteen fighting the stroller in and out of my SUV. There was also the potty break that invariably had to happen just moments after I hit any sort of stride. And then there’s the talking … the never-ending jibber jabber that my kid can keep up all day long!
Dear Alli, when Mommy is huffing and puffing and gasping for air just to make it around the track one. more. time. she doesn’t have enough oxygen to play peek-a-boo!
So I run for me. Alone. No stroller, no tag-along kid. Just me and the track or the road or the treadmill. Me + sneakers + pavement = bliss.
I run for time alone in my own head with my own thoughts. I run for time with my running buddies who are adults and who don’t need me to wipe anything or drive them anywhere. I run because I enjoy it, because I want to be more fit, and because I want to like my body more. I.run.for.me.
Is that selfish? Maybe, but didn’t you hear? I don’t care. Running makes me happy. It helps me think more clearly and certainly more positively. It almost always kicks the funk that Washington’s perpetual gloom can easily put me in. It gives me energy and reminds me to watch what I’m eating, and running is slowly drawing the numbers on the scale ever lower and lower.
Running makes me a better me!
Which, of course, makes me a better mommy.
See how they horn in everything, every part, every moment of my life, even on my selfish, selfish me-time?!? It’s ALWAYS about them!!!
Maybe next time I’m headed out and one of the kids asks to tag along, I’ll just answer, “Oh, I’m sorry, dear one, I’m headed out for a run, a little me-time. But don’t worry! I do it ALL for you!”