Happy Mother’s Day!
In the purposeful running series, many of you have shared the varied reasons we run: stress relief, setting and achieving goals, processing grief, honoring a good cause, and taking care of ourselves to be healthier and happier to care for others.
- My runs are more carefully scheduled and squeezed in wherever possible
- There’s much less recovery/down-time… I jump right back into the responsibilities of parenting when I walk in the door
- It’s become a more meaningful piece of my identity- something to set me apart as more than a mom
- It’s become an important tool for modeling self-confidence and healthy living for my daughter
To expand on the last point briefly, I love taking my daughter for jogs on popular trails where she sees lots of runners and assumes this is a normal part of everyone’s lifestyle; I love when she can spectate at races and enjoy the energy and excitement of all the athletes and spectators; I love that she imitates me down the sidewalk and tells me she can run fast, too; I love that she is still carefree, and doesn’t care if her clothes match or her hands get dirty and has no clue that appearance has any place in assessing the value of women in our culture.
I’m encouraged by the many articles touting the benefits of physical activity for young girls: one found a positive relationship between physical activity and/or sports participation in 12th grade girls with their self concept, which may also reduce their risk of depression; another found that achievement in team sports in early adolescence was positively associated with girls self esteem in middle school; and a third summarizes multiple benefits of physical activity and encourages girls to get involved with sports!
The power of modeling strength and confidence over beauty for her sake is enough to keep me running. How has being a mom changed running for you?