This past weekend was the first in a while that was not dedicated to racing. I love races, it’s part of what drives me to continue training in the way that I do. I love the atmosphere, the people, the competition, and the personal challenge. But it’s also nice to have a break once in a while.
So this past Saturday, with no race scheduled, I slept in. Well, I stayed in bed till 7am. This may not qualify as sleeping in to many, but to me, it’s pretty amazing. I was able to wake naturally, cuddle my boys for a few moments, and then, when I was finally ready, prepare for a nice morning run.
Out I headed for 5.75 steamy, humid, way-too-hot-for-late-October miles, and returned happy and ready to spend the day with my family. But as I walk in the door i immediately hear crying coming from my son’s room.
I question my husband, who gives me a bewildered look, so I into Mason’s room to ask him what’s wrong.
Between sobs he laments, “Mommy! I missed you!!”
Bring on the Mommy guilt.
if you are a parent who is also a runner/cross fitter/gym enthusiast/or any other type of athlete that must dedicate daily time to your craft, you’ve most likely felt this. It can be hard to justify leaving your family behind while you take time out of your day, continuing on a quest toward improving yourself. Hard to focus on your own personal goals, all the while feeling as though you should be home focusing on everyone else.
This is one of the main reasons why I run as early as I do each day. I rise before the sun rises, while my boys are sleeping peacefully, knowing that I’m not missing time with them and therefore putting my mind at ease.
At times I feel selfish for this love of running. I feel pangs of guilt as I drag my boys to the most obscure towns in Florida to run another race. And it makes me sad when my son cries for my absence upon returning from a Saturday morning run.
Ever felt this way?
I do all of the time. But I also know that my choice to be healthy provides an example to my son that will stick with him for a lifetime. He is being raised in a lifestyle that celebrates healthy living. He accompanies me to races and sees that fitness can be fun. He gets to play in the mud and meet other kids whose parents also have a passion for a great sport. He is learning that competition doesn’t need to be cut throat, but can be a great way to challenge one’s own abilities. He is growing up with a Mom who is strong, who is not afraid to rise to a challenge, and who will always stand up for herself.
I feel it is so important for Mother’s to show their boys that women can be nurturing, yet strong, and I strive to do this on a daily basis.
I have come to understand that despite the small sacrifices of time, it is good for me to take time for myself. We are a close family, but we have also allowed each other to have our own identities. We each have unique passions and we celebrate the qualities that make us unique.
So although I know I will have my days where I feel guilty about leaving my family for a run, I also know that having chosen this lifestyle not only helps me to be a happier and more appreciative Mommy, but it also sets an example for my son that is invaluable.
I’m going to keep running, I’m going to keep training, and I’m going to keep striving to be the best wife and Mother that I can be to my boys. And although I may have moments of guilt, I know that I’m doing not only what’s best for me, but I’m leading by example in hopes of raising a boy who grows up with an appreciation of a healthy, active lifestyle.
And to me, that’s so very worth it.