Not a Mother Runner
This weekend, as I started my early morning routine of fixing coffee, watching a little bit of the Today Show, and trying my best to keep Lila from ingesting Christmas lights, I looked out our front window and saw hundreds of runners, pounding the pavement in front of our house:
I hadn’t realized that our house is right on the route for the Rocket City Marathon!
Ryan, Lila and I sat outside for quite a while, cheering on the runners. Some of them looked like they were having a ball. Some of them looked like they were in complete agony. Some ran in pairs, some ran in huge groups, and some ran totally solo. They were men and women, old and young.
And I was very jealous of all of them.
I’ve mentioned this before on the blog, but I’ll say it again: post-baby, my desire to run at all has been pretty sporadic. Every now and then (like on Thanksgiving), I’ll get the urge. But, more often than not, I just don’t feel like it.
And that’s fine—but it’s also weird. Running has been my main form of exercise for many years, and for it to take such a backseat in my life just feels kind of…strange.
I was never super-speedy, and the farthest distance I’ve ever run has been 13 miles, which is mere child’s play to those who run marathons (or further).
Still, rare was the week when I didn’t lace up my running shoes and go for a run at least once or twice (and usually more).
What do I do now? I walk, and I do yoga.
My body craves both—I love taking long walks with Lila in the stroller. We usually go for at least one long walk a day, sometimes two.
And yoga is all me. I feel like yoga is the perfect form of exercise for where I am in my life right now. The classes I take are generally pretty strenuous (ahem, hot yoga), so I do feel like they count as “workouts.” In addition, all of the chaturangas and warrior poses have to add up to at least some strength training. And, perhaps most importantly, I feel like yoga truly functions as a retreat for my mind—and that’s really important when, on a daily basis, my mind is trying to balance essay grading, baby rearing, and life living.
All that being said—yep, I was jealous of those runners.
To me, being a “runner” has always seemed a little…elitist. Not elitist in a snobby way. Just elitist in the sense that…there’s this whole, huge runner subculture out there, and if you take part in it, you automatically feel like a member of this pretty cool club.
I’ll be honest: I miss that.
But I’m also trying to (yes, this is SO cheesy) honor my body right now. And if my body feels like doing yoga instead of running, so be it.
It’s taken me a long time to get to a place where I don’t feel guilty about not wanting to run. For the first three or four months after Lila’s birth, I really felt like I *needed* to be out there clocking miles, getting my speed back, etc. And then I finally just thought, “You know what? Screw it!”
It can be hard to let go of something that was such a huge part of your life, pre-baby. I follow many other “mommy” blogs, and many of these mommies are runners. Some of them clearly still enjoy, love, and crave running. Which I think is awesome.
But some of them clearly don’t. Some of them are clearly just still running because it’s what they did before the baby came. Some of them clearly just don’t want to let go of that title of “runner.”
To which I say: Let. It. Go.
It can be really hard to admit that life is different after you have a baby. I think all new moms (and dads) try to cling to certain parts of pre-baby life, eager to prove that nothing has changed. I know I do. But the sooner you can let go of what life was, and embrace what life is, the happier you’ll be.
Even Lila is getting in on the enlightenment. Good looking down dog!
Hope your week is off to a great start!