Running changed my life. As a kid, I was not active. I grew up an “inside girl” who mostly enjoyed books, movies and knitting. Then I became a mom for the first time, then the second. Somehow after my second kid was born, the lack of me became even more real. My body no longer seemed my own. Not only was I constantly being pulled and tugged on, but emotionally I was spent. All of my waking emotional and physical energy seemed to be allocated to my family.
After my second was born, I suffered from postpartum depression for almost a year without fully realizing it. Even though I have had cycles of depression several times over my life, it always approaches slowly, like a fog, and then suddenly I realize I can’t breathe or find a way out. So when my 5 year old son ran over one mile for a school fundraiser, and I realized I could not even do that, it hit me that I needed to be better. Not just for my family and the future grandkids I hope to have, but for me now. I needed the transformative effect of movement and nature as much as my kids do.
After a tough and frustrating start to a commercial Couch to 5K program, a friend mentioned that doing it with a group would be easier. She told me about a great program with Skirt Sports that pairs women with personal motivators to encourage a love of running and movement. This program, Running Start, introduced me to my Personal Motivator, Amy Dunbar-Wallis, who then introduced me to my Boulder chapter of MRTT (Moms Run This Town). The entire process has led to so much personal growth and achievement, and such a great community of runners and women.
In the less than 2 years of running and being active, I went from barely able to run around the block to completing three half-marathons and training for a full marathon this summer. I now use the phrase “only a 4-mile run” and consider a long run of 2-3 hours tiring but so restorative. I have never felt better, both physically and emotionally. I am inspiring my boys to move, hike and even run. Physicality does not come easy to me, or my sons, and I seem to work twice as hard to get any small gain in running and strength. Luckily, I have so many wonderful friends and mentors, not to mention a hugely supportive husband for all the hours of running and strength.
I may never be a fast runner or a strong runner, but I am a Runner.