Keep Moving Forward

by cecimadden

I am thinking of getting back into running.  I have not gone on a run in months now and unless I stop eating desserts I will surely be the size of a house by autumn.  Whoever decided that swimsuit season and ice cream season would coincide with one another has a sick sense of humor.

I have never been a serious runner, but I have run a few races in my day.  I dove right in with a half marathon in the summer of ’07 and I ran an 8K in the fall of ’08.  Then I got pregnant in the winter of ’09 and fractured my foot at the end of my pregnancy, so I have only flirted with running since then.  This past fall I went on a running streak, but then daylight savings time and a pulled hamstring interrupted my routine.

My foot still bothers me occasionally and part of me thinks it will never be the same and that maybe I should just give up on running.  But nobody likes a quitter.  I keep mentioning these long walks with Rachel and, well, they have inspired me in two key ways.  First, her physical ability is impressive.  I know I’m her (biased) mother, but she really has a ton of physical strength and endurance.  She can do somersaults and walk for over half a mile!   Seeing her mother stay fit will only reinforce her enthusiasm for physical activity.  I think this is important, especially for girls.

Second, it reminds me to slow down.  I am used to multi-tasking and setting high goals for myself, but sometimes I need to just take it easy.  When Rachel is out for a walk she has no destination, no record to set.  She has fun too.  If she feels like testing out her jumping moves, she does.  If she wants to go a little faster for a while, she does.  If she wants to be carried for a few steps, she asks.  On the other hand, when I go out for a run I have a distance or time goal in mind, or more recently, I have an idea of where I need to be or what I need to do next.  I don’t take it easy.  I push myself.  I don’t relax physically or mentally.  I feel embarrassed by how slow I run and push myself too hard.  I clutter my mind with routes and times.  What I need to do is just keep moving forward.  Nothing else.  This is not a competition.  There are no games or titles to win.  Just keep moving forward.  And have fun.  Definitely have fun.

So this is going to be my mantra for my summer runs.  Hopefully it will help me to simply put one foot in front of the other and enjoy myself.  Then afterward I’ll eat some ice cream.