I believe it is important to take care of yourself as a mother and to have fun in life. If you can't care for yourself, how can you care for others? I personally believe that as parents we spend so much of our time helping our children progress and reach goals that we often forget that we can challenge ourselves and set personal goals as well. We get so busy that we leave ourselves out of the picture. I felt so strongly about this I even wrote an ebook about it! There is nothing wrong with taking time out to pursue those dreams and goals and to feel the joy in achieving them.
With this thought in mind I have recently noticed and felt that I have not been taking care of myself the way I should be and have seen that it has affected my ability to care for my family. I have also put on a little extra weight recently even though I have been working on eating better and the fact that I have received about 10 PR emails offering me free weight loss programs has told me that other people have noticed as well! So this month I am starting to work on reclaiming my life as a mother and am determined to slot exercise into my schedule more.
One of the ways I like to exercise is by running. I am not a runner but I like to run. My running journey has been a rollercoaster ride. Full of highs and lows and chock a block full of emotion. Most of the emotion has been with my confidence and my challenge of trying to accept that I do not look like a runner and that I am slow at running. My mindset screams at me to not even get out there and to give it a go if you are not going to look the part and do it with speed.
Finally, I feel I have reached a stage where I have accepted and respect my own running style. I have come to accept that I have my own way of running, that I will not break any records and that I will always be one of the last to finish the race. Somebody has to right? For a long time this fear stopped me from even trying. Eventually, I overcame it and ran in my first 10K. My time was slow compared to others but I did it. I ran in public and I ran the whole way and finished the race.
Now that I have achieved my goal of running in public, it doesn't scare me any more and I feel no shame in being slow or being one of the last to finish. At least I am giving it a go and getting out there. I am excersising and increasing my fitness. My children also don't care if I am slow. They see me working hard trying to reach a goal and finding happiness by exercising and having fun. That to me is far more important than a number on a clock.
I do have to admit that part of me thinks that maybe I don't push myself enough to reach the finishing times that other's do. That maybe I am too easy on myself and that maybe I doubt my abilities too much. My personality though is that I rebel if someone pushes me too hard and tries to get me to do things I don't want to do. I pack up and leave. I stop exercising altogether and I rebel.
I think it comes from years of having to push myself in so many other ways growing up to just survive and to heal my heart that when it comes to physically pushing myself I am more gentle and like to work at a slower pace. It is one of the ways I am kind to myself when in many other area's I am tough.
Having said that I do like to challenge myself physically. It helps me feel alive, happy and vibrant when I achieve it and work towards it. A physical challenge also helps me to overcome any depressed feelings I face and is a way of taking care of myself in my busy schedule. So now that I have moved past the shame of being a slow runner and I have achieved my ultimate goal, I am working on a new running plan. I am gearing up to challenge myself to take on a new adventure. Why not I say? Life is all about progressing and setting new goals in my mind.
A lot of people can run 5K and do it on a regular basis. Slightly less people run 10K and do it on a regular basis and I have even done it myself. It was total fun and a goal I had wanted to achieve for a very long time. Running further than 10K I think there are even less people who are willing to take on this challenge. I really want to take on the challenge of running further than 10K because it seems like the most insane and impossible challenge to me right now and I like insane and impossible!
For me it is more about reaching the distance than how fast I will run. It is all about taking time out to work on something just for me, about physically being more active and about having some time to think and connect with myself and my body. I know it is not going to be easy as I have let my physical fitness slide a little too much and in a way it is like starting over again. But just like riding a bike, I know it will come back to me and I will soon start to enjoy the wind in my hair, my feet pounding on the road and the tunes motivating me to run that little bit faster.
I plan to go Ninja on my goal and hope that it may inspire you to do the same!