Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Running and Motherhood

So I'm on my third go around with a new baby. It's wonderful just like it was with the first two, and it's hard just like it was with the first two. This time though I have my running experience to draw upon and I have to say, running has given me strength and perspective when dealing with the challenges of having a new baby. I mean let's be honest, running, with all it's highs and awesome benefits, can still be really hard. Same with motherhood.

The other night I went to bed exhausted after a full day of taking care of all my little people. I told Taber I was so tired I felt like I was going to puke. Sounds dramatic but that's how I felt! Anyway it seems like I had barely hit the pillow when Cam's hungry cries yanked me out of dream land. I knew I needed to go get him and feed him but I was sooo tired. My body felt like it weighed a thousand pounds. My eyelids felt like THEY weighed a thousands pounds. My mind kept saying, "get up and get the baby" But my body was launching a full on rebellion. I couldn't do it. It was like I was pinned down to the bed and just didn't have the strength to break free. That's when the running perspective came into play. I thought to myself, "you ran a marathon woman, a MARATHON! you made your legs move when they couldn't move anymore, you pushed past pain and fatigue for that, so there's no reason why you can't get your butt out of bed and feed that baby!"

And it worked. I drew on that same will power that carried me through those last miles of the marathon and forced my eyes to open. Forced my legs to slide out of the covers and pull my body out of bed. I walked to Cam's room and picked up my sweet little chubster and brought him back to my room for yet another midnight feeding. Just like running, taking care of a newborn is hard. But just like running, it's amazingly rewarding too. I can't tell you how good it feels to hold that snugly warm bundle in the middle of the night, when him and I are the only ones awake in the house and we just send our unspoken love vibes back and forth to each other while we cuddle. Pure bliss.

On the flip side, Motherhood helps me be a better runner. Lately I've been back on the treadmill and it's been painfully difficult trying to get back into shape. I've been doing about 3 miles 3 days a week. That used to be a really easy running schedule for me but it's been killer. I have to push myself through each quarter mile. "One more lap, one more lap, don't die, you can do one more lap." Then the motherhood perspective comes in. I think to myself, "You carried another human being in your body for 9 months. You pushed it out and it hurt like the devil. You juggle carpools, grocery trips, housecleaning, kid entertaining, cooking, laundry, sick kids and tantrums, if you can push yourself to do all of that, there's no reason you can't keep those legs moving for one more lap."

and you know what? It's working. I'm running, slowly but surely I'm pushing myself through it and every day I feel a little bit stronger and a little more confident. Running is great. Being a mom is great. I'm glad I have both in my life to make me a better and happier person.


  1. Hip Hip Hooray for you dude! I totally get what you're saying. Motherhood and Running are very complementary to each other. Way to go with pushing yourself. You're the best!

  2. This post cracked me up!
    That's the worst to feel like you just fell asleep and the babe is already awake. I don't see how nursing moms do it because Stephan and I alternated night feedings.
    Good for you to get running in 3 days/week.
    I've been running about once a week for the past few I make that my long run. Ha!
    I love your comparison of running to motherhood. I tell myself "You ran that marathon before you ever had kids. Good thing you did because it ain't happening again anytime soon-if ever again!"
    I soooo wish we lived closer!

  3. I understand! Oh, I do. I have 2 kids (2 yr old and 4 mth old). My youngest wakes to nurse when she knows I plan to get up at 4:45 AM to run. It is a struggle, but I love how I feel after my run.

  4. Great post! You pretty much summed up my life with motherhood and running these days. Although, I'm only on #2. :o)

  5. Well said. I enjoyed that post... Especially because I had a front-row seat to those last several miles and watched you pick up your feet to get up lemon-drop hill when you thought you had nothing left! Very inspiring...

  6. You have descended from a long line of strong determined woman Becca! You are carrying on the Legacy and I doubt that there is anything that you can not do. Baby steps get you there in the beginning. Remembering that you haven't failed until you quit trying. I have found that life in general is like running a marathon. You just have to give your all and that last big push to get you past the finish line. Way to go Girl! You Rock! Love the analogy!
    Hugs and Kisses!

  7. What a great post! I am only on #1 and am still beyond exhausted. Go you!!! This really helped me put stuff in perspective ... Thanks.:)