Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Big Race

It is hard to find balance when you're a mom.  It's so easy to get caught up in all that you need to do for the kids, your husband, and maintaining the household that you may just find that you're forgetting one important person:  you!  I will admit that my first year of being a mom I focused nearly all of my energy on raising our son.  I kind of lost myself as an individual person:  I was just Mom.  Shortly after our son turned a year old, I started to reevaluate things a bit.  I had just suffered a late first trimester miscarriage and was struggling with the fact that we were unsuccessful in getting pregnant again right away.  I was feeling pretty down in the dumps and one day it occurred to me that I would like to make a few changes in my life.  I was hoping to lift my spirits.

When I was younger, I was an athlete.  I played many sports and had a very competitive drive.  I let that go as I neared the end of high school.  For the next 10 years, I would go through spurts where I would exercise a lot, lose some weight, and then slip off the path for awhile.  This was something that I wanted to change.  My husband and I began touring some gyms in our area and decided to join an outstanding health club that was affiliated with our local hospital.  The hardest part of this transition for me was trusting others to care for our son.  After a few weeks, though, I realized that the ladies that worked in the gym daycare were wonderful and there was no need to worry.  It was time to dive into a new routine.  I had something for myself and I began to enjoy my hour or so of freedom several days a week.

 I kept this up for two years and stumbled after our third child was born.  I struggled in many ways for the better part of a year after he was born.  I was overwhelmed and I made the mistake of letting myself go once again.  Shortly after he turned a year old, we headed back to the gym.  This time, though, I went out of my comfort zone and started attending fitness classes.  My eyes were opened quickly.  All this time I thought I was challenging myself, but boy was I wrong!  All of the sudden I was doing things I never thought I could do.  It really changed how I felt about myself and has now become a very important part of my life.

Today was a big milestone for me.  I ran my first race.  This is a big deal to me, because I am not a natural runner.  It was a last-minute event we did as a family and I surprised myself by running the two mile race in 20:11.  I know that's not a wonderful time, but I expected that I would need to walk a good portion of the race.  The competitive part of me had a different idea.  Only once did I walk for about thirty seconds.  The rest of the time I ran.  I was very proud of myself when I crossed the finish line.  I proved to myself that, once again, I can do more than I give myself credit for.  It has inspired me to do more.  Best of all, our entire family got to participate in this event and everyone had a wonderful time.

For all of you struggling to find some balance, take a step back and think about who you were before you were Mom.  Make time to incorporate activities that were important to you and realize that everyone will be better in the long run if you do.  It's amazing how your outlook on life changes a bit.  Best of luck on your journey!

 Three generations on racing day.  

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