As my husband and I try to plot out the rest of our summer fun before I go back to work and his schedule gets busier, I’m smacked in the face with the realization that summer is just about over. Just three more weekends before I report back to work. Just three more weeks before I don’t have as much free time to fit in exercise, and all the things of early wake ups, curriculum planning, grading and daycare drop offs and pick ups are thrown back into the mix.
I have worked my butt off this summer to make my health and fitness a priority, to make new habits. And in the back of my head I’m worried if I will be able to keep up with it all. My commute is long. I’m already getting up at 5:30am to get to work at 7am. My time at home post work doesn’t always lend itself to getting a run in, which has been a huge focus of mine this summer, and really an addiction.
I’ve already thought about trying my best to leave work at 2:30 on some days to get to the YMCA for a quick indoor track run before picking Abby up, as I’ve worked so hard to get to where I am as a runner, doing my first 5k, and crazily thinking about doing a half marathon June 2013. I don’t want to lose this momentum. I refuse to lose this momentum, even though in the back of my head I’m wonder, “But what if I have no choice in losing this momentum as work gets busier?”
Jamie, a recent guest blogger, chatted with us about how she’s able to train for a marathon as a working mom, and she’s given me a lot of confidence to make time for all this running. She has one advantage I don’t have, one that she shares with her coworker, LWM contributor Brandy, in that her company is amazeballs and the two of them can get a workout done during their lunch hour as they work in a working mom paradise if you will. They both view working out as an immovable appointment, and I’ve decided that once the school year starts, I need to do so as well, taking what I can get, when I can get it. I may not have their lunch hour privilege, but the two of them have shown me that my views can change, and that’s what is the most important.
Since I began running, my life has improved tremendously. Yes I’ve lost some weight, but mostly my mood has benefited. I’m happier. Running is a stress reliever, and I think it can be the key to keep me going and less negative once the school year begins. I’ve had some cranky moments over this summer break, however instead of stress eating, I’ve decided to stress run, and I always feel better afterwards. Ultimately, I wholeheartedly agree with Brandy’s thoughts on the power of exercise and the energy it gives you. I’m sleeping a minimum of 8 hours a night this summer, sometimes falling asleep on the couch way before I get to bed because of all the running I’ve been doing. And sleeping at least 8 hours a night gives me the energy to tackle the next day, while during the school year I was letting the stress eat away at me, and I would be thrilled if I could manage 6 hours of sleep, waking up exhausted and even more stressed. It’s a wicked cycle that I’d like to put behind me.
So this is what motivates me to keep up with this new routine of mine, where health and fitness are a priority. Because since I’ve been doing so this summer, my daily life has greatly improved. Yes it’s a bit of a sacrifice of time with my husband and daughter, but overall, happier mommy equals happier family. It’s just a small sacrifice in the grand scheme of things, really. And I feel such joy when Abby practices her exercises and asks me to do my running with her around the house. At nearly three, I’m showing her that exercise can be fun, and that in itself is a huge motivator to keep me going.
I realize, though, that I could use another motivator. And an idea of thinking of myself as “Mom to 5k” came to fruition. I’ve launched a new blog called, Mom to 5k…and beyond, as a place to continue to chronicle my journey. I’ve felt a huge surge of support from the online world as I began my running journey and have heard from many that I’m motivating them to get up and run. (I kinda feel like it’s me paying it forward as Brandy was the huge motivator for me when I began this journey.) I’m hoping that this little new corner of the internet I’ve created can help to keep me accountable, as well as forgiving as life gets busier for me as September rolls around. I hope you will join me over there as well.
Photo Credit: Flickr via fatfeet_running