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On the Run

runner There was a time in my life when I used to be passionate about running, swimming, martial arts, indoor rock climbing, and a number of other things that had to do with self-improvement.  Yet, I woke up today and I realized I hadn’t done many of those things in a very, very long time.  I also realized it’s been just as long that I remembered missing or caring to do those things.

Isn’t it interesting how the throws of life can alter our focus (not for better or for worse, but things are just different).

Has that happened to you lately?

Did you wake up one day and realize it’s been months or even years since you did something you used to love to do.  Not because you no longer love it, but because life’s circumstances have put different loves in a higher priority?

Replaying the previous weeks in my mind, I find that I’m very focused on a handful of things right now:

  • What will I make for lunch/dinner?
  • When’s the next opportunity to work on Calvin’s potty training?
  • Can I fit in taking my son to the park between nap time and dinner preparation?
  • How long can I hold off on doing laundry until I REALLY have to do laundry?

Then, there’s the whole chiropractic practice bit where I work 3-4 days per week.  But, even on days I’m not working, I’m still “working”.  Whether it’s thinking about different approaches to treating spinal conditions or preparing for my next education talk in the community or spending a large majority of my time on the phone with insurance companies, I’m still mentally “at work” even on many of my “off” days.

I also realized that in order to be a loving wife and mom with increasing patience and a pleasant disposition, I also need to take a little time just for me every week.  My “me time” has definitely varied over the years.  I was once completely immersed in jazz singing, then I poured my time and energy into playing guitar.  When I was in chiropractic college, I ran at Daytona Beach or swam laps to get my mind off the stresses of exams and practicals.

Then, I became a mom.

It took me a long time figuring out how to take care of my son and myself simultaneously.  Once in a great while, I was able to sneak away (usually after bedtime) to swim laps once a week or once a month.  I also was able to spend once a week training in martial arts.

Then, we moved to Charlottesville, and I became a part-time working mom (starting up my own practice…from scratch). Since January, I’ve had the opportunity for “me-time” for a few minutes here and there.  Invariably, I get interrupted while I’m in the shower with a knock on the door.  I think I kinda gave up in trying to figure out how to work it into my jam-packed balancing act schedule.

But, today I woke up and realized I used to love running–and I haven’t done it in months.  MONTHS!

The weather is gorgeous.  The trees in central Virginia are beautiful.  And, I have not yet been running.  Why not?  Why did I forget to pencil in some jogger stroller bonding time?

I couldn’t think of an answer to the question except for the bullet points mentioned above.

So, this is what I’m going to do about it.  Instead of trying to take my son to the playground 2-3 times a week, I’ll just shoot for once a week.  And then I’ll make it a point to run at Jefferson Parkway or even in my little neighborhood twice a week.  Just to remember what it feels like and why I once loved it.  I also realized the city pools are going to open in about a month.  We’ll be able to get some serious water time in AND hang out together as a family.  I’m definitely missing the joy of swimming.  And isn’t it particularly convenient that one of the city pools also has two adjacent playgrounds?

What is it that you haven’t done in a long time that you wish you had? What are you going to do to get back into it again?

4 Responses

  1. that’s so funny! i had the exact same ‘moment’ this week, when i realized i LOVED running…in fact i was happily training for a half marathon this summer until we moved here to WA in october….and I haven’t run ONCE in about 7 months! In large part because I used to go in the morning before the kids woke up, but here that meant when it was dark & i don’t feel comfortable running alone in the dark. Anyhow, This week i went out for a jog (a rather sad 10min one that left me sore the next day, ha!) in the evening after putting the kids down (sun doesn’t go down these days till close to 9). it was AWESOME. I’m hitting the road this afternoon as well. Since my kids are too large & ‘unco-operative’ for sitting through a session in the jogging stroller these days, I’m hoping this evening thing will work out for me…. 🙂

  2. I used to love sports and other physical activities before I had my daughter. I realized that it has been ages since I last got myself into a sport. I miss the fun part of it, and I also missed those days when I used to be really fit to do physical stuff. I guess I better start small again so I can eventually have it as part of my routine. Good luck!

  3. I miss our runs, Dolly! I had no idea how much free time we really had while we were in school…this “real world” stuff does not leave much time for recreation!

  4. Great post! This is something that has been on my mind lately. I’ve been doing sit-ups and we’ve been going on family walks regularly since I gave birth to my new baby girl 7 weeks ago. But I think I’m ready to get out there and start running now…

    Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂

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