Are you running curious? Would you love to join the flood of other runners on paths and tracks? But then look at your calendar and think how on earth could you fit it in.
You are not alone, but there have been countless mums who have made their running dreams a reality. The popularity of the running mum has gone through the roof over the last few years and more and more women are joining this revolution. So what is it that has propelled mothers to don on the colourful lycra, fancy runners and kick those once “impossible” running goals?
Simply them! Their sanity, their health, their wellbeing and their family’s happiness.
We all know that motherhood brings with it many challenges and mental battles of what we need to do, where we need to be and who we need to see. It can get so intense that we forget about ourselves, our health and our own needs because something else always wins our attention. My biggest learning in being a runner and running with countless fellow running mums, is that women seek meaning, self achievement and connection beyond the family home! It is the drive to push themselves which has mothers making time to train for marathons, ultra marathons and even greater.
Personally, running has been my life line since becoming a mother. Despite starting running a few years before my daughter was born, it took on a new meaning for me when I became a mother. I’ve run four marathons, one being my dream in New York, I’ve become faster and fitter and with my love for running, I’ve turned my career around and now work as a wellness coach to motivate others to get active. I’ve found meaning and purpose to my life as a woman and mother. My confidence, self worth, belief and overall happiness has been a result of running and setting myself running goals, no matter how big or small.
How did I do it? And how can you do it?
Set yourself the task of just starting…start small. Start by walking if you have to. We live in a fast paced society where we want things to happen quick and when they don’t we quit! Just like anything, running is a learned skill. It takes time, practise and consistency to reach the kilometres you would like, at the pace you want, whilst maintaining a good breathing pattern.
Planning and creating a routine is the next big step. Set yourself a realistic running goal. Once you know what you want to achieve, plan it out – Your days, the times, the location. Get clear on when you can make time for it. You then must chat with and educate your family on why you want to work at this goal, invest your family into your goal. It may take some adjustment but your family will get used to the thought, “mum is out running”. Be flexible, there will be times when training will not happen and that is OK. There will be times where you will feel like you are failing in pursuit of your goal but that is OK too. Because in failure we get our biggest learnings.
How can running change your life?
Running can only enhance your life. The full mind body benefits you experience from running will help clear your mind, improve your sanity and boost your wellbeing. Mindfulness is such a hot topic right now and running serves as a perfect mindfulness practise. Imagine yourself using your legs, nurturing your physical body, connecting your breath with the movement and using your mind to focus on your goals – it is a divine sanity boost!
Running will become an expression of your life. It will give you a voice and shout to the world that you will challenge yourself and simply give it a go. Running will become your “me-time”, whether you run by yourself or others. And most importantly, you will experience a deep sense of meaning, achievement and fulfilment through setting running goals which will enhance yours and your family’s life and wellbeing…Because we know when mums cup is full so is her family.
And in parting as Nike says, you need to find a way to Just Do It!
Natalie Moore Is a passionate running mum who has used her love for running to become a Wellness Coach to help, support and coach other women into improving their health and wellbeing. Her website is www.bemoore.com.au